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W.C. i. 


Foreword vi 
Story of Lyubim Tsarevich and the Winged 

Wolf 1 
Story of the most wonderful and noble Self- 

Playing Harp 16 

The Seven Brothers Simeon 29 

Story of Ivan, the Peasant's Son 39 

Story of the Golden Mountain 50 

Iliya of Murom and the Robber Nightingale 61 
The Renowned Hero, Bova Korolevich and 

the Princess Drushnevna 68 

The Mild Man and his Cantankerous Wife 117 

Story of the Duck with Golden Eggs 125 

Story of Bulat the Brave Companion 131 
Story of Prince Malandrach and the Princess 

Salikalla 142 
Story of a Shoemaker and his Servant 

Prituitshkin 153 

Emelyan, the Fool $0 

The Judgment of Shemyaka 183 
Story of Prince Peter with the Golden Keys, 

and the Princess Magilene 187 
Sila Tsarevich and Ivashka with the White 

Smock 194 
Story of the Knight Yaroslav Lasarevich and 

the Princess Anastasia 202 



The Horse grew restive, reared higher than 

the highest forest Frontispiece 

Instantly upstarted Lyubim Tsarevich, put 

on his armour and leapt upon his steed 4 

At length they fell in with a cripple in the 

road 64 

"Alas! my gracious mother, why have you 

put me in prison?" 74 

The Judge thought that the bundle was full 

of roubles 184 

And so saying, he stretched out his hand to 

take the sword 226 


THE special interest of this volume of Russian 
Folk Tales is that it is a translation from a 
collection of peasant Chap-books of all sorts 
made in Moscow about 1830, long before the 
Censorship had in great measure stopped the 
growth of popular literature. It is not necessary 
to dilate upon the peculiarities of Chap-books and 
their methods : in the conditions of their exist- 
ence many of the finest qualities of the primitive 
stories are eliminated, but on the other hand 
certain essentials are enforced. The story must 
be direct, the interest sustained, and the language 
however fine, simple and easily understood. 

It is to be hoped that some of these merits have 
been preserved in this translation : for this book 
is intended to appeal to a class of severe and in- 
corruptible critics the children of to-day. To 
older critics the matter is also interesting. Who on 
earth would ever expect to find in a Russian Chap- 
book printed in Slavonic type on a coarse broad- 
side sheet the Provencal legend of " Pierre et 
Maguelonne " or the Old English tale of " Bevis 
of Hampton." And the mystery deepens when 



one is told that Bevis of Hampton is ages old in 
Russia, however the names have been re-furbished 
by the printer to not the English, but the Italian 
form. Some of the tales are evidently of German 
origin adopted and made Russian, like that of 
the " Seven Simeons " or " Emelyan, the Fool " ; 
others are as evidently Eastern. A few date from 
the Russian Epics, like that of " Iliya of Murom " 
and "Ivan the Peasant's Son"; others are of 
later date, like that of " The Judgment of Shem- 
yaka," who was a historic character who lived 
about 1446. 

It is hardly necessary to dilate on the peculiar 
expressions here to be found; how that a child 
grows " not day by day, but hour by hour," how 
that when the Tsar wants to drink " beer is not 
brewed nor brandy distilled," seeing he is served 
at once, how the hero passes through " thrice nine 
lands to the thirtieth country," how brothers are 
always in threes, and how the youngest always 
succeeds where his elders fail. Students of folk- 
lore will know all about them, and the rest of us 
must take them on trust. Do you know why you 
must never go under a ladder? 

R. S. 



IN a certain country there once lived a Tsar 
named Elidarovich, with his wife, Militissa 
Ibrahimovna, who had three sons. The eldest 
son was named Aksof Tsarevich, the second Hut 
Tsarevich, and the youngest, Lynbim Tsarevich; 
and they grew, jipj; _from day to day, but from 
hour to hour. And when the eldest son was twenty 
years of age, he begged leave of his parents to travel 
in other countries, and seek a beautiful princess 
for his wife. So his parents at last consented, gave 
him their blessing, and dismissed him to the four 
quarters of the earth. 

Not long after this, Hut Tsarevich in like manner 
begged permission of his parents to travel; and 
Tsar Elidar and the Tsarina gave their consent 
with the greatest pleasure. And so Hut Tsarevich 
went out into the world too, and they wandered 
about a long while, until at length nothing more 
was heard or seen of them, and they were given up 
for dead. 

As the Tsar and the Tsarina were troubled and 
wept for their lost sons, came the youngest son, 

1 B 


Lyubim Tsarevich, and likewise entreated them 
to let him go forth to seek his brothers. But hiv 
parents said to him : " Son, you are too young 
and cannot undertake so long a journey ; and how 
can we part with you, our only child left to us? 
We are already in years, and to whom should we 
leave our crown?" But Lyubim Tsarevich would 
not be denied; he remained firm to his purpose, 
and said : " It is needful for me to travel and see 
the world; for if ever I am called to rule over the 
country, I must learn to do so with justice*" 

When the Tsar Elidar and Tsarina Militissa 
heard these words from their son, they were over- 
joyed, and gave him their consent to travel ; but 
only for a short time, and making him promise to 
have no companions, nor expose himself to anr 
great dangers. Upon taking leave, Lyubim bethought 
him how to provide himself with a knightly steed 
and a suit of armour; and as he went musing thus 
to the city, an old woman met him, who said : 
'* Why are you so sad, my dear Lyubim Tsare- 
vich?" But he did not give her an answer, and 
passed by the old woman without saying a word. 
But then he bethought him that old folk are wiser 
than young ones, turned round, and going up to 
the old woman, :urosted her. And Lyubim TV:H-' - 
vich said to her : tk At the first meeting, mother, 



I disdained to tell you why I was sad, but it came 
into my mind that old folk must know more than 
young ones." " There it is, Lyubim Tsarevich," 
said the old woman, " you can't easily get away 
from old folk. Say, why are you sad? Tell the old 
wife." And Lyubim Tsarevich said to her : "I 
have no good horse and no armour, yet I must 
travel far and wide in search of my brothers." 
Then the old woman said: "What think you? 
There is a horse and a suit of armour in your 
father's forbidden meadow,* behind twelve gates, 
and this horse is fastened by twelve chains. On 
that meadow is also a broadsword and a fine suit of 

When Lyubim Tsarevich had heard this, and 
thanked the old woman, he went straightway, over- 
joyed, to the forbidden meadow. On reaching the 
place where the horse was, he stopped, and be- 
thought him " How shall I break through the 
twelve gates?" At last he made the attempt, and 
presently broke down one gate; then the steed 
perceived by his scent the presence of the brave 
youth, and with a great effort burst his chains ; 

* The " royal forbidden meadows were those belonging to the 
Sovereign, the use of which was strictly forbidden to his subject*. 
When an enemy came into the conntry they first pitched their 
camp in these fields, as a declaration of hostilities. 



and then Lyubim Tsarevich broke through three 
more gates, and the steed trampled down the rest. 
Then Lyubim Tsarevich surveyed the steed and 
the armour; and put on the armour, but left the 
steed in the meadow ; after which he went to his 
home, found his parents, and with great joy told 
them all that had befallen him, and how an old 
woman had helped him, and begged their blessing 
on his travels. So his parents gave him their bless- 
ing, and, mounting his good steed, he set forth on 
his journey. And he went his way, and travelled 
until he came at length to a place where three roads 
met; in the centre stood a column, with three 
inscriptions, which ran as follows : " He who 
turns to the right will have plenty to eat, but his 
steed will starve ; he who goes straight forward 
will hunger himself, but his steed will have food 
enough ; and whoever takes the left road will be 
slain by the Winged Wolf." 

When Lyubim Tsarevich read this, he pondered 
over it, and resolved to go no other road but to 
choose the left, and either be slain himself, or 
destroy the Winged Wolf, and free all those who 
might be travelling that way. So he journeyed on 
until he came to the open plains, where he pitched 
his tent to rest, when on a sudden he perceived in 
the west the Winged Wolf come flying toward 




him. Instantly up started Lyubim Tsarevich, put 
on his armour, and leaped upon his steed. And 
Lyubim rode at the Wolf, which beat him so hard 
with his wings that he nearly fell from his horse ; 
nevertheless, Lyubim kept his seat, flew into a 
violent rage, and with his battle-sword struck the 
Winged Wolf a blow that felled him to the ground, 
and injured his right wing so that he could no longer 


When the Wolf came to himself he said to 
Lyubim Tsarevich, in a human voice : " Do not 
kill me ! I will be useful to you and serve you as 
your trusty servant." Then Lyubim Tsarevich 
replied : ' ' Know you where my brothers are ? ' ' 
And the Wolf answered : " They have long ago 
been slain; but we will bring them to life again 
when we have won the beautiful Princess." " How 
shall we do that?" said Lyubim Tsarevich. 
"Hark ye," replied the Wolf ;" leave your 
steed here, and ." 

" How! What shall I do without my horse?" 
cried Lyubim. 

" Only hear me out," said the Wolf; " I will 
change myself into a horse, and carry you ; but 
this steed of yours is not fit for the task we have 
to do; in the city where the Princess lives, there 
are strings from the walls to all the bells in the city ; 



and we must leap over all these without touching 
the smallest, otherwise we shall be taken.'* Lyubim 
Tsarevich saw at once that the Wolf spoke wisely, 
so he consented, and exclaimed, " On then!" 

Away they went, until they came to the white 
stone wall of the city ; and when Lyubim Tsare- 
vich looked on it he grew frightened. " How is it 
possible to leap over this high white stone wall?" 
said he to the Wolf. But the Wolf replied : " It is 
not hard for me to jump over this ; but afterwards 
fresh obstacles will arise, from your falling in love; 
then you must bathe in the water of life, and take 
some for your brothers, and also some of the water 
of death." 

Thereupon they leaped safely over the city wall, 
without touching a stone. Lyubim Tsarevich 
stopped at the palace and went to the court of the 
beautiful Princess. And as he entered the first 
apartment he found a number of chamber women 
all fast asleep, but the Princess was not there ; he 
found her not. Then went Lyubim Tsarevich into 
the second room, where he found a number of 
beautiful ladies-in-waiting, all fast asleep, but the 
Princess was still not there. Then Lyubim went 
into the third apartment, and there he saw the 
Princess herself, sleeping; and his heart was on 
fire with her beauty, and he fell so deeply in love 


that he could not tear himself away from her 
presence. But at last, fearing he might be seized 
if he remained too long, he went into the garden 
to fetch some of the waters of life and of death. 
Then he bathed in the water of life, and taking 
with him bladders-full of both waters, he returned 
to his Wolf. And as he was sitting on his Wolf- 
steed, the Wolf said to him : " You have become 
very heavy. We cannot leap back over the wall, but 
shall strike against it and wake everyone up. Never- 
theless you shall kill them ; and when they are all 
slain, be sure to seize on a white horse. I w r ill then 
help you to fight ; and as soon as we reach our 
tent, take your own steed, and I will mount the 
white horse. And wiien we have slain all the war- 
riors, the Princess herself will come to meet you 
and offer to be your wife, professing a violent love 
for you." 

Thereupon they attempted to leap over the high 
city wall; but they touched the strings, and in- 
stantly the bells rang an alarm through all the city, 
and the drums beat. Then every one jumped up 
and ran out of the court with their weapons, whilst 
some opened the gate that no misfortune might 
tefall the Princess. Presently the Princess herself 
awoke ; and, perceiving that a youth had been in 
the apartment, she gave an alarm, which soon 



brought all the courtiers around her. There was 
speedily gathered a crowd of famous and valiant 
knights, and she said to them : " Now ye brave 
warriors, go forth and fetch hither this youth and 
bring me his head ; so shall his boldness be pun- 

And the valiant knights promised her : " We 
will not rest until we have slain him, and brought 
his head to you, even if he were in the midst of an 
army." So the Princess dismissed them, and went 
up into her balcony, and gazed after her army and 
after the stranger who had dared to intrude into 
the privacy of her court, and caress her in her sleep. 

When the alarm was given, Lyubim Tsarevich 
had already ridden a great distance on his Wolf- 
steed, and was half-way to his tent before he could 
be overtaken. As soon as he saw them approach, 
he wheeled about and grew furious at beholding 
such an array of Knights in the field. Then they 
fell upon him; but Lyubim Tsarevich laid about 
him valiantly with his sword, and slew many, whilst 
his horse trod down still more under his hoofs, 
and it ended in their slaying nearly all the little 
knightlets. And Lyubim Tsarevich saw one single 
knight mounted upon a white steed, with a head 
like a beer-barrel, who rode at him; but Lyubim 
Tsarevich slew him also, leaped on the white horse, 


and left the Wolf to rest. When they had rested 
they betook themselves to their tent. 

When the beautiful Princess saw Lyubim Tsare- 
vich overcome singly such a large host, she collected 
a still larger army and sent them forth against him, 
whilst she went back again to her balcony. 

But Lyubim Tsarevich came to his tent, and there 
the Wolf transformed himself into a valiant knight, 
such as no one could imagine except in a fairy-tale. 
And presently the army of the beautiful Tsarevna 
was seen approaching --a countless host; where- 
upon Lyubim Tsarevich mounted his white steed, 
accompanied by his companion the Wolf, and 
awaited their attack ; and when the army of the 
beautiful Tsarevna was near, Lyubim, taking the 
right wing, ordered the Wolf to attack the left, 
and they made ready for the charge. Then on a 
sudden they fell upon the warriors of the Tsarevna 
with a fierce onset, mowing them down like grass, 
until only two persons remained on the field, the 
Wolf and Lyubim Tsarevich. And after this dread- 
ful fight was ended the brave Wolf said to Lyubim : 
" See, yonder comes the beautiful Tsarevna her- 
self, and she will ask you to take her to wife ; there 
is nothing more to fear from her ; I have expiated 
my crimes through my bravery; dismiss me now, 
and let me return to my own kingdom." So 



Lyubim Tsarevich thanked him for his service 
and counsel and bade him farewell. 

The Wolf thereupon vanished ; and when 
Lyubim Tsarevich saw the beautiful Princess coming 
toward him, he rejoiced, and, going to meet her, 
he took her by her white hands, kissing her honey- 
sweet mouth, pressed her to his stormy heart, and 
said : " Did I not love you, my dearest fair Tsarevna, 
I should not have remained here; but you have 
seen that my love was stronger than your armies." 
Then the fair Tsarevna replied : " Ah ! thou 
valiant knight. Thou hast overcome all my powers, 
and my strong and famous knights, on whom my 
hopes relied ; and my city is now desolate. I will 
leave it and go with you ; henceforth you shall be 
my protector." 

44 Joyfully do I take you for my wife," replied 
Lyubim Tsarevich, " and I will guard and protect 
you and your kingdom faithfully." Conversing 
thus they entered the tent, and sat down to rest and 

Early the next morning they mounted their 
horses and set out on their journey to the kingdom 
of Elidar; and on the way Lyubim Tsarevich 
said : " Ah ! thou fair Princess, I had two elder 
brothers, who left our home before I did, in hopes 
of winning your hand; in these wilds they have 


been murdered, and where their remains lie I do 
not know ; but I have brought with me the waters 
of life and death, and will seek and restore them 
to life ; they cannot be far distant from our road ; 
do you therefore ride on to the pillar with the in- 
scriptions, and wait for me. I shall soon rejoin 

So saying, Lyubim Tsarevich parted from his 
fair Princess, and went forth to seek his brothers' 
remains. He found them at last among some trees ; 
and after sprinkling them with the water of death, 
they grew together ; then he sprinkled them with 
the water of life, and his two brothers became alive, 
and stood up on their feet. Then Aksof and Hut 
Tsarevich exclaimed : ' ; Ah ! brother ! how long 
have we been sleeping here?" And Lyubim Tsare- 
vich said : " Ay, indeed, and you might have still 
slept on for ever, had it not been for me." Then 
he related to them all his adventures how he had 
conquered the Wolf, and won the beautiful Princess, 
and had brought them the w r aters of life and death. 
Thereupon they repaired to the tent, where the 
fair Tsarevna was waiting for them ; and they all 
rejoiced and feasted together. 

When they had retired to rest, Aksof Tsarevich 
said to his brother Hut Tsarevich : " How shall 
we go to our father Elidar and our mother Militissa, 



and what shall we say to them? Our youngest 
brother can boast that he won the beautiful Princess 
and awakened us from death. Is it not disgraceful 
for us to live with him? Had we not better kill 
him at once?" So they agreed, and took the battle- 
sword and cut Lyubim Tsarevich to pieces, and 
cast his remains to the winds. Then they threat- 
ened the Princess with the same fate if she be- 
trayed the secret to anyone ; and, drawing lots, 
the waters of life and death fell to Hut, and the 
beautiful Princess to Aksof Tsarevich. 

So they journeyed on to their father's kingdom ; 
and when they reached the forbidden meadows, 
and had pitched their tents, the Tsar Elidar sent 
messengers to demand who had encamped there. 
Then Hut replied : " Aksof and Hut Tsarevich 
are come, with a beautiful Princess ; and tell our 
father, the Tsar, that we have brought with us the 
waters of life and death." 

The messenger immediately returned to the 
Court and told this to the Tsar, who inquired 
whether all his three sons were come ; but the 
messenger replied : " Only the two eldest, your 
Majesty; the youngest is not with them." The 
Tsar, nevertheless, rejoiced greatly, and hastened 
to tell the Tsarina, his wife, of the return of their 
two eldest sons. 



Then Tsar Elidar and Tsarina Militissa arose 
and went to meet their sons in the way, and un- 
armed them, and embraced them tenderly. And 
when they returned to the palace a great banquet 
was made, and they feasted seven days and seven 
nights. At the end of this time they began to think 
of the wedding, and to make preparations, and 
invite the guests, boyars, and brave warriors and 

Now, the Winged Wolf, who knew that they 
had slain their brother, Lyubim Tsarevich, ran 
and fetched the waters of life and death, collected 
all the remains of Lyubim, and sprinkled them 
with the water of death ; thereupon the bones 
grew together, and no sooner had he sprinkled 
them with the water of life than the brave youth 
stood up, as if nothing had happened to him, and 
said : " Ah, what a time I have slept !" Then the 
Wolf answered : " Ay, you would have slept on 
for ever had I not come to awaken you "; and he 
related to Lyubim all that his brothers had done ; 
and, changing himself into a horse, he said : 
" Hasten after them you will be sure to overtake 
them; to-morrow your brother Aksof Tsarevich 
is to marry the Princess." 

So Lyubim instantly set out, and the Wolf- 
steed galloped over hill and dale, until they arrived 



at the city of the Tsar, where Lyubim dismounted. 
Then he walked through the market, and bought 
a gusli ; and stationed himself in a spot which the 
Princess would pass. And, as she was being con- 
ducted to the church, Lyubim Tsarevich began 
to sing the events of his youth, accompanying 
himself on the gusli ; and when the beautiful 
Princess drew nigh, he sang of his brothers, and 
how cruelly they had slain him and deceived their 
Father. Then the Princess stopped her carriage, 
and ordered her attendants to call to her the 
stranger with the gusli, and to ask his name and 
who he was. But without answering a word, 
Lyubim went straight to the Princess ; and when 
she saw him, she was overjoyed, and, seating him 
in her carriage, they drove off to his parents. 

When the Tsar Elidar and his wife Militissa, 
l>eheld their son Lyubim, they were unspeakably 
glad; and the beautiful Princess said: * 4 Lyubim 
Tsarevich it was, and not Aksof, who gained my 
hand, and it was he, too, who obtained the waters 
of life and death/' Then Lyubim related all his 
adventures; and the Tsar and Tsarina, after 
summoning their sons, Aksof and Hut, asked them 
why they had acted so unnaturally ; but they 
denied the charge. Thereat the Tsar waxed wroth, 
and commanded that they should be shot at the 


gate of the city. Lyubim Tsarevich married the 
beautiful Princess, and they lived in perfect har- 
mony for many years; and so this story has an 



IN a certain country there lived a king named 
Filon, whose wife Chaltura had an only son, 
named Astrach, who from his earliest years 
had a strong desire to render himself famous by 
knightly deeds. When he arrived at mature age, 
Astrach began to think of marrying, and he asked 
his father in what kingdom lived the most beautiful 
of all Tsar's or King's daughters. The King re- 
plied : " If it is your wish to marry, my dearest 
son, my noble child, I will show you the portraits 
of the daughters of the Tsars and Kings of all 
lands." So saying, he led Prince Astrach to a 
gallery, and showed him the pictures. After ex- 
amining them all closely, Astrach fell passionately 
in love with the Tsarevna Osida, daughter of A for, 
the Tsar of Egypt. Then he besought his father's 
blessing, and asked leave to repair to the Court of 
the Egyptian Sultan, to sue for the hand of Osida. 
King Filon rejoiced at the thought of his son's 
marrying, gave him his blessing, and dismissed him. 
Then Prince Astrach went to seek a goodly 
steed in the royal stables, but could find none 
there to his mind. So he bade farewell to his father 


and mother, and started for his journey to Egypt 
alone on foot ; and he wandered long, here and 
there, far and near, until at length he saw on the 
plain a palace of white marble, roofed with gold, 
which emitted beams of light, shining like the 
sun. Prince Astrach went up to the palace ; and, 
on reaching it, he walked round the building, 
looking in at every window, so see if any persons 
were there ; but he could discover no one. So he 
went into the courtyard, and wandered up and 
down for a long time ; but there, too, he could 
see no living soul; then he entered the marble 
palace, and went from room to room, but all was 
silent and deserted. At length he came to an apart- 
ment, in which a table was spread for one person; 
and being very hungry, Prince Astrach sat down, 
and ate and drank his fill ; after which he laid him- 
self down on a bed and fell fast asleep. 

As soon as he awoke, he wandered again through 
the palace until he came to a room, from the window 
of which he saw the most beautiful garden he had 
ever beheld, and it came into his mind to go for a 
walk in it. Then he went out of the palace and 
strolled about for a long time ; and at length came 
to a stone wall, in which was an iron door, with a 
massive lock. As the Prince touched the lock he 
heard behind the door the neighing of a horse; 

17 c 


and, wishing to remove the lock, he took up a huge 
stone in his arms and fell to hammering the door. 
At the first blow it burst open, and there behind it 
was a second iron door, with a lock like the first. 
This, too, he broke open, and found behind it ten 
other doors, through all of which he forced his 
way in like manner; and behind the last he beheld 
a noble charger, with a complete suit of armour. 
Then he went up and stroked the horse, which 
stood still as if rooted to the spot. 

Prince Astrach forthwith proceeded to saddle 
his horse with a Tcherkess saddle, put a silken 
bridle into his mouth, and leading him out, moun- 
ted, and rode into the open fields. But as soon as he 
applied the spur, the horse grew restive, reared 
higher than the waving forests, plunged lower 
than the flying clouds; mountains and rivers he 
left behind; small streams he covered with his tail 
and broad rivers he crossed at a bound, until at 
length Prince Astrach so tired out the brave steed 
that he was covered with foam. 

Then the horse spoke with a man's voice the 
following words : " O Prince, thou my noble 
rider, it is now three-and-thirty years since I 
served the dead Yaroslav Yaroslavovich that 
stout and powerful knight and I have borne him 
in many a single combat and battle; yet never 


have I been so worn out as to-day ; now I am 
ready to serve you faithfully till death." Then 
Prince Astrach returned into the courtyard, put 
his brave steed into the stable, and gave him white 
corn and spring water; after which he went into 
the marble palace, ate and drank his fill, and then 
laid him down to sleep. 

The following morning he rose early, saddled 
his good horse, and rode forth towards Egypt, to 
Tsar Afor, to sue for the hand of his daughter, the 
beautiful Tsarevna Osida. When he arrived at 
the court he announced himself as the son of King 
Filon, whereupon Tsar Afor received him with all 
honour, and enquired what purpose had brought 
him thither, to which Prince Astrach replied: 
"Great Tsar of all the lands of Egypt, I am not 
come to your Court to feast and banquet, but to 
ask for your lovely daughter to wife." 

" Brave Knight, Prince Astrach," answered the 
Tsar, " I will gladly bestow my daughter on you; 
but one service you must render me. The unbe- 
lieving Tartar Tsar is drawing near, and threatens 
to lay waste my kingdom, to carry off my daughter, 
and slay me and my wife." Prince Astrach replied : 
" My gracious lord, Tsar Afor, readily will I go 
forth to battle for the Faith with this unbelieving 
Tsar; and to protect your city from untimely 



destruction." Whereat Tsar Afor was glad at heart, 
and ordered a great banquet to be prepared for the 
bold and fair Prince Astrach ; so there was great feast- 
ing, and the betrothal took place with all solemnity. 
The next day the Busurman army of three 
Hundred thousand men arrived before the city, 
whereat Tsar Afor was greatly alarmed, and took 
counsel with Astrach. Then the Prince saddled 
his steed, went into the royal palace, and offered 
up his prayers, bowing himself to all four quarters 
of the globe. After this he took leave of Tsar Afor 
and his wife, and his betrothed Tsarevna, the 
beautiful Osida, and rode straight to the enemy's 
camp ; and when he spurred his charger, the 
steed bounded from the earth higher than the 
waving forests, and lower than the drifting clouds ; 
mountains and valleys he left beneath his feet, 
small streams he covered with his tail, wide rivers 
he sprang across, and at length arrived at the 
enemy's camp. Then Prince Astrach fell upon the 
Busurmen with fearful slaughter, and in a short 
time cut them to pieces; and wherever he waved 
his arm, a way was opened, and where he turned 
his horse there was a clear space for him ; so he 
routed and destroyed the whole army, took the 
Busurman Tsar himself prisoner, and brought him 
to Tsar Afor, who threw him into prison. 


Then there was great feasting and rejoicing, 
and the revels lasted for a whole fortnight. At the 
end of this time, Prince Astrach reminded Tsar 
Afor of his marriage contract with the Tsarevna 
Osida; and Tsar Afor ordered a great banquet to 
be made, and bade his daughter prepare for the 
wedding. When the Tsarevna heard this, she called 
Prince Astrach and said : " My beloved friend 
and bridegroom, you are in too great a haste to 
marry; only think how dull a wedding feast 
would be without any music, for my father has 
no players. Therefore, dear friend, ride off, I 
entreat you, through thrice nine lands, to the thir- 
tieth kingdom, in the domain of the deathless 
Kashtshei, and win from him the Self -playing 
Harp ; it plays all tunes so wonderfully that every 
one is bound to listen to it, and it is beyond price : 
this will enliven our wedding." 

Then Astrach, the King's son, went to the royal 
stable and saddled his steed; and, after taking 
leave of Tsar Afor and his betrothed Princess, 
mounted his good horse and rode off to the king- 
dom of the deathless Kashtshei, in search of the 
Self -playing Harp. As he rode along he saw an 
old hut, standing in a garden facing a wood ; and 
he called out with his knightly voice : " Hut, hut, 
turn about, with your back to the wood, and your 



front to me!" And instantly the hut turned itself 
round. Then Prince Astrach dismounted and 
entered the hut, and there was an old witch sitting 
on the floor spinning flax. And the witch screamed 
with a frightful voice: " Fu ! f u ! f u ! never before 
has the sound of a Russian spirit been heard here; 
and now a Russian spirit comes to sight!" Then 
she asked Prince Astrach : " Wherefore, good 
youngling, Prince Astrach, art thou come hither 
of thine own free will or not? Hither no bird flies, 
no wild beast wanders, no knight ever passes my 
hut. And how has God brought you here?" 

But Prince Astrach replied : " You silly old 
wife, first give me food and drink, and then put 
your questions." Thereupon the old witch instantly 
set food before Prince Astrach, whipped him into 
the bath-room, combed his locks, made ready his 
bed, and then fell again to questioning him. " Tell 
me, good youth, whither art thou travelling to 
what far country? and dost thou go of thine own 
free will or no?" 

And Prince Astrach answered : " Willingly as 
I go, yet I go twice as unwillingly through thrice 
nine lands into the thirtieth kingdom, the domain 
of the deathless Kashtshei, to fetch the Self-play- 
ing Harp." 

" Ho! ho! ho!" cried the old witch. " You'll 


find it a hard task to gain the Harp ; but say your 
prayers and lie down to rest; the morning is the 
time for such exploits, but the night for sleep." 
So Astrach, the King's son, laid himself down to 

The next morning the witch awoke early, got 
up, and aroused Prince Astrach. " Bestir yourself, 
Prince Astrach, it is time for you to set out on your 
travels." So Astrach arose and speedily dressed 
himself, pulled on his stockings and boots, washed, 
and said his prayers, bowing himself north, south, 
east, and west, and made ready to take leave of the 
witch. Then she said: " How! will you go away 
without asking an old woman like me how you can 
gain the Self -playing Harp?" And when he asked 
her she said : " Go your way, in God's name, and 
when you come to the realm of the deathless 
Kashtshei, manage to arrive exactly at noon. Near 
his golden palace is a green garden, and in this 
garden you will see a fair Princess walking about. 
Leap over the wall and approach the maiden; she 
will rejoice to see you, for it is now six years since 
she was carried off from her father's court by the 
deathless Kashtshei. Enquire of this maiden how 
you can obtain the Self -playing Harp, and she will 
direct you." 

Thereupon Prince Astrach mounted his good 


steed and rode far and fast, and came into the 
kingdom of the deathless Kashtshei. Then he re- 
paired to the golden palace, and heard the sound 
of the Self-playing Harp : he stood still to listen, 
and was absorbed by its wonderful music. At last 
he came to himself, leaped over the wall into the 
green garden, and beheld there the Princess, who 
was at first sight terrified; but Prince Astrach 
went up to her, quieted her fears, and asked her 
how he could obtain the Self -play ing Harp. Then 
the Tsarevna Darisa answered: " If you will take 
me with you from this place I will tell you how to 
obtain the Harp." So Prince Astrach gave her his 
promise. Then she told him to wait in the garden, 
and meanwhile she herself went to the deathless 
Kashtshei and began to coax him with false and 
flattering words. " My most beloved friend and 
intimate, tell me, I pray you, will you never die?" 

"Assuredly never," replied Kashtshei. 

" Then," said the Princess, " where is your 
death? Is it here?" 

"Certainly," he replied; "it is in the broom 
under the threshold." 

Thereupon Tsarevna Darisa instantly seized 

the broom and threw it into the fire ; but, although 

the besom burned, the deathless Kashtshei still 

remained alive. Then the Tsarevna said to him : 



* i My beloved, you do not love me sincerely, for 
you have not told me truly where is your death; 
nevertheless, I am not angry, but love you with 
my whole heart." 

And with these fawning words, she entreated 
Kashtshei to tell her in truth where was his death. 
Then he said with a laugh: " Have you any 
reason for wishing to know? Well, then, out of 
love I will tell you where it lies; in a certain field 
there stand three green oaks, and under the roots 
of the largest oak is a worm, and if ever this worm 
is found and crushed, that instant I shall die." 

When the Tsarevna Darisa heard these words, 
she went straight to Prince Astrach, and told him 
how he must go to that field, and seek for the 
three oaks, dig up the worm under the biggest oak 
and crush it. So the Prince went forth, and rode 
on from morning to night, until at length he came 
to the three green oaks. Then he dug up the worm 
from the roots of the largest, and having killed it, 
he returned to the Tsarevna Darisa, and said to 
lier : "Does the deathless Kashtshei still live? 
I have found the worm and destroyed it." And 
she replied, " Kashtshei is still alive." 

Then said Prince Astrach, " Go again and ask 
him right lovingly w r here is his death." So the 
Princess went, and said to him with tears : " You 



do not love me, and don't tell me the truth, but 
treat me as a stupid "; and at last King Kashtshei 
yielded to her entreaties, and told her the whole 
truth, saying : " My death is far from hence, and 
hard to find, on the wide ocean : in that sea is the 
island of Bujan, and upon this island there grows 
a green oak, and beneath this oak is an iron chest, 
and in this chest is a small basket, and in this 
basket a hare, and in this hare a duck, and in this 
duck an egg; and he who finds this egg, and 
breaks it, at that same instant causes my death." 

As soon as the Tsarevna heard these words she 
hastened back to Prince Astrach and told him all. 
And thereupon he straightway mounted his good 
steed, and rode to the sea-shore. There he saw a 
fisherman in a boat, and asked him to carry him 
to the island of Bujan ; and, taking a seat in the 
boat, they speedily reached the island, where he 
landed. Prince Astrach soon found the green 
oak, and he dug up the iron chest, and broke it in 
pieces, and opened the basket, and took out of the 
basket the hare, and tore in pieces the hare, when 
out flew a grey duck; and as she flew over the 
sea, she let fall the egg into the water. Thereat 
Prince Astrach was very sorrowful, and ordered 
the fisherman to cast his nets into the sea, and 
instantly the man did so, and caught a huge pike. 


So Prince Astrach drew the pike out of the net, 
and found in it the egg which the duck had dropped : 
and, seating himself in the boat, he bade the fisher- 
man make for the shore. Then, after rewarding 
the man for his trouble, the Prince mounted his 
steed and returned to the Tsarevna Darisa. 

As soon as he arrived and told her that he had 
found the egg, the Princess said : " Now fear 
nothing; come with me straight to Kashtshei." 
And when they appeared before him, Kashtshei 
jumped up, and would have killed Prince Astrach ; 
but the Prince instantly took the egg in his hand 
and fell to crushing it gradually. Then Kashtshei 
began to cry and roar aloud, and said to the Tsar- 
evna Darisa : " Was it not out of love that I told 
you where my death was? And is this the return 
you make?" So saying he seized his sword from 
the wall to slay the Tsarevna ; but at the same 
moment Astrach, the King's son, crushed the egg, 
and Kashtshei fell dead upon the ground like a 
sheaf of corn. 

Then the Tsarevna Darisa led Astrach into the 
palace, where was the Self -playing Harp, and said 
to him : ' ' The Harp is now thine take it ; but 
in return for it, conduct me back to my home.'* 
So Prince Astrach took up the Harp, and it played 
so gloriously that he was struck dumb with 



amazement at its sounds, as well as its workmanship 
of the purest Eastern crystal and gold strings. After 
gazing at it for a long time, Prince Astrach left the 
palace, and mounting his gallant steed with Darisa, 
set out upon his return. First he carried the Tsar- 
evna back to her parents, and afterwards went on 
his way to Egypt, to Tsar Afor, and gave the Self- 
playing Harp to his betrothed, the Tsarevna 
Osida. Then they placed the Harp on the table, 
and it fell to playing the most beautiful and merry 

The next day Prince Astrach married the fair 
Tsarevna Osida, and in a short time left Egypt, 
and returned to his native country. When his 
father and mother saw their dear son again they 
rejoiced exceedingly. Not long afterwards King 
Filon died, and Prince Astrach wore his father's 
crown, and lived with his beloved Queen Osida 
in all joy and happiness until they died. 


THERE were once upon a time two old serfs, 
who lived together for many years without 
children; and in their old age they prayed 
for a child to keep them from want when they 
were no longer able to labour. After seven years 
the good woman gave birth to seven sons, who 
were all named Simeon ; but when these boys 
were in their tenth year, the old folk died, and the 
sons tilled the ground which their father left them. 

It chanced one day that the Tsar Ador drove 
past, and wondered sore to see such little fellows 
all busy at work in their field. So he sent his oldest 
boyar to ask them whose children they were, and 
why they were working so hard, and the eldest 
Simeon answered, that they were orphans, and 
had no one to work for them, and that they were 
all called Simeon. When the boyar told this to 
Tsar Ador, he ordered the boys to be brought 
along with him. 

On returning to the palace, the Tsar called to 
gether all his boyars, and asked their advice, 
saying : " My boyars, you see here seven poor 
orphans, who have no kinsfolk; I am resolved to 



make such men of them that they shall hereafter 
have cause to thank me ; and therefore I ask your 
advice what handicraft or art shall I have 
them taught?" Then the boyars replied : " Your 
Majesty, seeing that they are old enough to have 
understanding, it would be well to ask each brother 
separately what craft he wishes to learn." 

This answer pleased the Tsar, and he said to 
the eldest Simeon : " Tell me, friend, what art or 
trade would you like to learn? I will apprentice 
you to it." But Simeon answered : " Please your 
Majesty, I wish to learn no art; but if you will 
command a smithy to be put up in the middle of 
your court, I will raise a column which shall reach 
to the sky." By this time the Tsar at once saw that the 
first Simeon wanted indeed no teaching if he was 
so good a smith as to do such work ; but he did not 
believe that he could make so tall a pillar ; so he 
ordered a smithy to be built in his court-yard, and 
the eldest Simeon straightway set to work. 

Then the Tsar asked the second Simeon: " What 
craft or art would you learn, my friend?" and the 
lad replied : " Your Majesty, I will learn neither 
craft nor art; but when my eldest brother has 
smithied the iron column, I will mount to the top 
of it, look around over the whole world, and tell 
you what is passing in every kingdom." So the 


Tsar saw there was clearly no need to teach this 
brother, as he was clever enough already. 

Thereupon he questioned the third Simeon : 
" What craft or what art will you learn?" He re- 
plied : " Your Majesty, I want to learn neither 
craft nor art; but if my eldest brother will make 
me an axe I will build a ship in the twinkling of an 
eye." When the Tsar heard this he exclaimed : 
" Such master workers are just the men I want ! 
Thou also hast nothing to learn." 

Then he asked the fourth Simeon : " Thou 
Simeon, what craft or what art will thou learn?" 
and he answered : " Your Majesty, I need to 
learn nothing ; but when my third brother has 
built a ship, and the ship is attacked by enemies, 
I will seize it by the prow, and draw it into the 
kingdom under the earth; and when the foe has 
departed, I will bring it back again upon the sea." 
The Tsar was astonished at such marvels, and 
replied : " In truth you have nothing to learn." 

Then he asked the fifth Simeon : " What trade 
or what art would you learn, Simeon?" And he 
replied : "I need none, your Majesty ; but when 
my eldest brother has made me a gun, I will shoot 
with it every bird that flies, however distant, if I 
can see it." And the Tsar said: " You'll be a 
famous hunter truly!" 



The Tsar now asked the sixth Simeon: " What 
art will you learn?" and he replied in like manner : 
" Sire, I will follow no art, but when my fifth brother 
has shot a bird in the air I will catch it before it 
falls to the ground, and bring it to your Majesty." 
" Bravo!" said the Tsar; " you will serve in the 
field as well as a retriever." 

Thereupon the Tsar enquired of the last Simeon 
what craft or art he would learn. " Your Majesty," 
he replied, " I will learn neither craft nor trade, 
for I am already skilled in a precious art." " What 
kind of art do you understand then?" said the 
Tsar. " I understand how to steal better than any 
man alive." When the Tsar heard of such a wicked 
art, he grew angry, and said to his boyars : " My 
Lords, how do you advise me to punish this thief 
Simeon ? What death shall he die ? " But they all 
replied: "Wherefore, O Tsar, should he die? 
Who knows but that he may be a clever thief, and 
prove useful in case of need?" " How so?" said 
the Tsar. " Your Majesty," replied the boyars, 
" has for ten long years sued for the hand of the 
beautiful Tsarina Helena in vain, and has already 
lost many armies and great store of money. Who 
knows but that this thief Simeon may in some way 
steal the fair Tsarina for your Majesty." 

" Well spoken, my friends," replied the Tsar; 


and, turning to the thief Simeon, he said : " Hark 
you, friend, can you pass through thrice nine 
lands into the thirtieth kingdom and steal for me 
the fair Queen Helena? I am in love with her, 
and if you can bring her to me I will reward you 

"Leave it to us," answered Simeon; "your 
Majesty has only to command." 

" I do not order you, I entreat you then," said 
the Tsar, " not to tarry longer at my Court, but 
take with you all the armies and treasure you 
require." "I want not your armies nor your treasure, "" 
said Simeon ; " only send us brothers forth together ; 
without the rest I can do nothing." The Tsar was 
unwilling to let them all go ; nevertheless he was 
obliged to consent. 

Meanwhile the eldest Simeon had finished the 
iron column in the smithy of the palace-yard. Then 
the second Simeon climbed up it, and looked 
around on all sides, to see whereabouts the kingdom 
of fair Helena's father lay; and presently he called 
out to the Tsar Ador : " Please, your Majesty, 
beyond thrice nine lands, in the thirtieth kingdom, 
sits the fair Tsarina at her window. How beautiful 
she is ! One can see the very marrow of her bones, 
her skin is so clear." On hearing this the Tsar was 
more in love than ever, and cried aloud to the 

33 D 


Simeons : " My friends, set out instantly on your 
journey, and come back as soon as possible; I can 
no longer live without the fair Tsarina." 

So the eldest Simeon made for the third brother 
a gun, and took bread for their travels; and the 
thief Simeon took a cat with him, and so they set 
out. Now thief Simeon had so accustomed this 
cat to him, that she ran after him everywhere like 
a dog ; and whenever he stopped, she sat up on 
her hind legs, rubbed her coat against him and 
purred. So they all went their way, until they came 
to the shore of the sea over which they must sail. 
For a long time they wandered about, seeking 
wood, to build a ship with. At last they found 
a huge oak. Then the third Simeon took his axe 
and laid it at the root of the tree, and in the twink- 
ling of an eye the oak was felled, and a ship built 
from it, fully rigged, and in the ship there were all 
kinds of costly wares. 

After some months' voyage they arrived safely 
at the place to which they were bound, and cast 
anchor. The next day Simeon the thief took his 
cat and went into the city ; and walking straight 
up to the Tsar's palace, he stood under the window 
of Queen Helena. Immediately his cat sat up on 
her hind legs, and fell to rubbing him and purring. 
But you must know that no cat had ever been seen 


or heard of in this country, nor was anything known 
of such an animal. 

The fair Tsarina Helena was sitting at her 
window, and observing the cat, she sent her atten- 
dants to inquire of Simeon what kind of animal 
it was, and whether he would sell it, and for 
how much. And when the servants asked him, 
Simeon replied : ' * Tell her Majesty that this 
creature is called a cat, but I cannot consent 
to sell her; if, however, her Majesty pleases, 
I shall have the honour of presenting the cat to 

So the attendants ran back and told what they 
had heard from Simeon; and when the Tsarina 
Helena knew it, she was overjoyed, and went her- 
self to him, and asked why he would not sell it, 
but would only give it to her. Then she took 
the cat in her arms, went into her room, and in- 
vited Simeon to accompany her ; and, going to 
her father, the Tsar Sarg, the Tsarina showed him 
the cat, and told him that a stranger had presented 
it to her. The Tsar gazed at the wonderful animal 
with delight, and commanded the thief Simeon 
to be summoned; and when he came, the Tsar 
wanted to reward him richly for the cat. But 
Simeon would not take anything; and the Tsar 
said : " Stay here in my palace for a time, and 



meanwhile the cat will become better used to my 
daughter in your presence." 

Simeon, however, had no desire to remain, and 
answered : " Your Majesty, I would stay in your 
palace with pleasure had I not a ship, in which I 
came to your kingdom, and which I cannot entrust 
to anyone ; but if your Majesty pleases, I will 
come every day to the palace and accustom the 
cat to your fair daughter." 

This offer pleased the Tsar : so every day Simeon 
went to the fair Queen ; and once he said to her : 
" Gracious Lady, Your Majesty, often as I have 
come to visit you, I have not observed that you 
ever go out to take a walk. If you will come once 
on board my ship, I will show you a quantity of 
fine wares, diamonds and gold brocades, more 
beautiful than you have ever seen before." There- 
upon the Tsarina went to her father and asked his 
permission to take a walk upon the quay. The Tsar 
consented, bidding her take her attendants and 
lady's-maids with her. 

When they came to the quay, Simeon invited 
the Tsarina on board his ship, where he and his 
brothers displayed to her all kinds of wares. Then 
said Simeon the thief to the fair Helena : " You 
must order your attendants to leave the ship, and 
I will show you some more costly wares which 


they must not see." So the Tsarina ordered them 
to return to shore ; and Simeon the thief instantly 
desired his brothers to cut the cable, set all the 
sails, and put out to sea. 

Meantime he amused the Tsarina by unpacking 
the wares and making her various presents. In 
this manner hours passed by ; and at last she told 
him it was time for her to return home, as her 
father would be expecting her back. So saying, 
she went up from the cabin and perceived that the 
ship was already far out at sea, and almost out of 
sight of land. Thereat she beat her breast, changed 
herself into a swan, and flew away. But in an instant 
the fifth Simeon seizing his gun, fired at her; 
and the sixth brother caught her before she fell 
into the water, and placed her on the deck, when 
the Tsarina changed back into a woman. 

Meanwhile the attendants and lady's-maids, 
who were standing on the shore, and had seen the 
ship sail away with the Tsarina, went and told the 
Tsar of Simeon's treachery. Then the Tsar in- 
stantly commanded his whole fleet to go in pur- 
suit ; and it had already got very near to the 
Simeons' ship when the fourth brother seized the 
vessel by the prow and drew it into the subter- 
ranean region. When the ship disappeared, all the 
sailors in the fleet thought it had sunk, together 


with the beautiful Tsarina Helena, and went 
back to the Tsar Sarg and told him the sad tidings. 
But the seven brothers Simeon returned safely to 
their own country, and conducted the Tsarina 
Helena to Tsar Ador, who gave the Simeons their 
freedom as a reward for the services they had 
rendered, together with much gold and silver and 
precious stones. And the Tsar lived with the beau- 
tiful Queen Helena for many years in peace and 


IN a certain village there lived a poor peasant 
with his wife, who for three years had no child- 
ren : at length the good woman had a little 
son, whom they named Ivan. The boy grew, but 
even when he was five years old, could not walk. 
His father and mother were very sad, and prayed 
that their son might be strong on his feet; but, 
however many their prayers, he had to sit, and 
could not use his feet for three-and-thirty years 

One day the peasant went with his wife to 
church ; and whilst they were away, a beggar man 
came to the window of the cottage and begged alms 
of Ivan the peasant's son. And Ivan said to him : 
" I would gladly give you something, but I cannot 
rise from my stool." Then said the beggar: 
* ' Stand up and give me alms ! Your feet are stout 
and strong ! " In an instant Ivan rose up from his 
stool, and was overjoyed at his newly acquired 
power : he called the man into the cottage and 
gave him food to eat. Then the beggar asked for a 
draught of beer, and Ivan instantly went and 
fetched it ; the beggar, however, did not drink it, 



but bade Ivan empty the flask himself, which he 
did to the very bottom. Then the beggar said : 
" Tell me, Ivanushka, how strong do you feel?" 
" Very strong," replied Ivan. " Then fare you 
well!" said the beggar; and disappeared, leaving 
Ivan standing lost in amazement. 

In a short time his father and mother came 
home, and when they saw their son healed of his 
weakness, they were astonished, and asked him how 
it had happened. Then Ivan told them all, and the 
old folk thought it must have been no beggar but 
a holy man who had cured him ; and they feasted 
for joy and made merry. 

Presently Ivan went out to make a trial of his 
strength; and going into the kitchen garden, he 
seized a pole and stuck it half its length into the 
ground, and turned it with such strength that the 
whole village turned round. Then he went back 
into the cottage to take leave of his parents and ask 
their blessing. The old folk fell to weeping bitterly 
when he spoke of leaving them, and entreated him 
to stay at least a little longer ; but Ivan heeded not 
their tears, and said : "If you will not give me 
your consent, I shall go without it." So his parents 
gave him their blessing; and Ivan prayed, bowing 
himself to all four sides, and then took leave of 
his father and mother. Thereupon he went straight 


out of the yard, and followed his eyes, and wandered 
for ten days and ten nights until at length he came 
to a large kingdom. He had scarcely entered the 
city when a great noise and outcry arose ; whereat 
the Tsar was so frightened that he ordered a pro- 
clamation to be made, that whoever appeased the 
tumult should have his daughter for wife, and half 
his kingdom with her. 

When Ivanushka heard this he went to the Court 
and desired the Tsar to be informed that he was 
ready to appease the tumult. So the doorkeeper 
went straight and told the Tsar, who ordered Ivan 
the peasant's son to be called. And the Tsar said 
to him : " My friend, is what you have said to the 
doorkeeper true?" 

" Quite true," replied Ivan; " but I ask for no 
other reward than that your Majesty gives me what- 
ever is the cause of the noise." At this the Tsar 
laughed, and said: "Take it by all means, if 
it is of any use to you." So Ivan the peasant's 
son made his bow to the Tsar and took his leave. 

Then Ivan went to the doorkeeper and demanded 
of him a hundred workmen, who were instantly 
given him; and Ivan ordered them to dig a hole 
in front of the palace. And when the men had 
thrown up the earth, they saw an iron door, with 
-a copper ring. So Ivan lifted up this door with one 



hand, and beheld a steed fully caparisoned, and a 
suit of knightly armour. When the horse perceived 
Ivan, he fell on his knees before him, and said with 
a human voice : " Ah, thou brave youth ! Ivan the 
peasant's son ! the famous knight Lukopero placed 
me here ; and for three-and-thirty years have I 
been impatiently awaiting you. Seat yourself on 
my back, and ride whithersoever you will : I will 
serve you faithfully, as I once served the brave 

Ivan saddled his good steed, gave him a bridle 
of embroidered ribands, put a Tcherkess saddle 
on his back, and buckled ten rich silken girths 
around him. Then he vaulted into the saddle, 
struck him on the flank, and the horse chafed at 
the bit, and rose from the ground higher than the 
forest; he left hill and dale swiftly under his feet, 
covered large rivers with his tail, sent forth a thick 
steam from his ears, and flames from his nostrils. 

At length Ivan the peasant's son came to an 
unknown country, and rode through it for thirty 
days and thirty nights, until at length he arrived 
at the Chinese Empire. There he dismounted, and 
turned his good steed out into the open fields, 
while he went into the city and bought himself a 
bladder, drew it over his head, and went round the 
Tsar's palace. Then the folks asked him whence 


he came, and what kind of man he was, and what 
were his father and mother's names. But Ivan 
only replied to their questions, " I don't know." 
So they all took him for a fool, and went and told 
the Chinese Tsar about him. Then the Tsar ordered 
Ivan to be called, and asked where he came from 
and what was his name; but he only answered 
as before, " I don't know." So the Tsar ordered 
him to be driven out of the Court. But it happened 
that there was a gardener in the crowd, who begged 
the Tsar to give the fool over to him that he might 
employ him in gardening. The Tsar consented, 
and the man took Ivan into the garden, and set 
him to weed the beds whilst he went his way. 

Then Ivan lay down under a tree and fell fast 
asleep. In the night he awoke, and broke down all the 
trees in the garden. Early the next morning the 
gardener came and looked round, and was terrified 
at what he beheld : so he went to Ivan the peasant's 
son and fell to abusing him, and asked him who 
had destroyed all the trees. But Ivan only replied, 
" I don't know." The gardener was afraid to tell 
this to the Tsar; but the Tsar's daughter looked 
out of her window and beheld with amazement 
the devastation, and asked who had done it all. 
The gardener replied that fool Know-nothing had 
destroyed the noble trees; but entreated her not 



to tell her father, promising to put the garden into 
a better condition than it was before. 

Ivan did not sleep the next night, but went and 
drew water from the well, and watered the broken 
trees; and early in the morning they began to 
rise and grow ; and when the sun rose they were 
all covered with leaves, and were even finer than 
ever. When the gardener came into the garden 
he was amazed at the change ; but he did not again 
ask Know-nothing any questions, as he never re- 
turned an answer. And when the Tsar's daughter 
awoke, she rose from her bed, and looking out into 
the garden, she saw it in a better state than before ; 
then, sending for the gardener, she asked him how 
it had all happened in so short a time. But the man 
answered that he could not himself understand it, 
and the Tsar's daughter began to think Know- 
nothing was in truth wonderfully wise and clever. 
From that moment she loved him more than her- 
self, and sent him food from her own table. 

Now the Chinese Tsar had three daughters, 
who were all very beautiful: the eldest was named 
Duasa, the second Skao, and the youngest, who 
had fallen in love with Ivan the peasant's son, was 
named Lotao. One day the Tsar called them to 
him and said to them : " My dear daughters, fair 
Princesses, the time is come that I wish to see you 


married; and I have called you now to bid you 
choose husbands from the princes of the countries 
around." Then the two eldest instantly named two 
Tsareviches with whom they were in love; but 
the youngest fell to weeping, and begged her 
father to give her for wife to Know-nothing. At 
this request the Tsar was amazed, and said : " Have 
you lost your senses, daughter, that you wish to 
marry the fool Know-nothing, who cannot speak 
even a word?" " Fool as he may be," she answered, 
" I entreat you, my lord father, to let me marry 
him." " If nothing else will please you," said the 
Tsar sorrowfully, " take him you have my con- 

Soon after, the Tsar sent for the Princes whom 
his eldest daughters had chosen for husbands; 
they obeyed the invitation instantly, and came with 
all speed to China, and the weddings were cele- 
brated. The Princess Lotao also was married to 
Ivan the peasant's son, and her elder sisters 
laughed at her for choosing a fool for a husband. 

Not long afterwards a great army invaded the 
country, and its leader, the knight Polkan, demanded 
of the Tsar his daughter, the beautiful Lotao, for 
wife, threatening that, if he did not consent, he 
would burn his country with fire and slay his 
people with the sword, throw the Tsar and Tsarina 



into prison, and take their daughter by force. 
At these threats the Tsar was aghast with terror, 
and instantly ordered his armies to be collected ; 
and they went forth, commanded by the two 
Princes, against Polkan. Then the two armies met, 
and fought like two terrible thunder-clouds, and 
Polkan overthrew the army of the Chinese Tsar. 

At this time the Princess came to her husband, 
Ivan the peasant's son, and said to him : " My 
dear friend Know-nothing, they want to take me 
from you ; the infidel knight Polkan has invaded 
our country with his army and routed our hosts 
with his terrible sword." Then Ivan told the 
Princess to leave him in peace ; and, jumping out 
of the window, he ran into the open fields, and 
cried aloud : 

"Sivka Burka! he! 

Fox of Spring ! Appear ! 
Like a grass blade, here 
Stand before me!" 

The horse galloped until the earth trembled : 
from his ears came steam, from his nostrils flames. 
Ivan the peasant's son crept into his ear to change 
himself, and came out looking such a brave knight 
as no pen can write down or story tell. Then he 


rode up to the army of Polkan, and laid about him 
with his sword, trod the army down under his 
horse's hoofs, and drove it quite out of the king- 
dom. At the sight of this the Chinese Tsar came to 
Ivan, but knew him not, and invited him to his 
palace ; but Ivan answered : " I am not your sub- 
ject and I will not serve you." And so saying, away 
he rode, let his horse run loose in the open fields, 
went back to the palace, crept again through the 
window, drew the bladder over his head, and lay 
down to sleep. 

The Tsar gave a public feast for this great vic- 
tory, and it lasted several days; until the knight 
Polkan once more invaded the country with a fresh 
army, and again demanded with threats the youngest 
Princess for his wife. The Tsar instantly assem- 
bled his armies again, and sent them against 
Polkan ; but the knight defeated them forthwith. 
Then Lotao went to her husband, and everything 
happened exactly as before; and Ivan again drove 
Polkan and his army out of the empire. Thereupon 
the Tsar invited him to his palace ; but without 
heeding him, Ivan turned off his horse in the 
fields, went back to the palace, and lay down to 
sleep. So the Tsar gave another feast, in honour of 
the victory over Polkan ; but he marvelled what hero 
it could be who had so bravely defended his realm. 



After a while, Polkan a third time invaded the 
empire, and all fell out as before : Ivan jumped 
out of the window, ran into the fields, mounted 
his steed, and rode forth against the enemy. Then 
the horse said in a human voice : " Listen, Ivan 
Peasantson ! we have now a hard task to perform ; 
defend yourself as stoutly as possible, and stand 
firm against Polkan otherwise you and the whole 
Chinese army will be destroyed." Then Ivan 
spurred his steed, rode against Polkan 's host, and 
began to slay them right and left. When Polkan 
saw that his army was defeated, he flew into a 
rage, and fell upon Ivan the peasant's son like a 
furious lion, and a fight began between the two 
horses, at the sight of which the whole army stood 
aghast. They fought for a long time, and Polkan 
wounded Ivan in the left hand. Thereupon Ivan 
the peasant's son, in a fierce rage, aimed his 
javelin at Polkan, and pierced him through the 
heart : then he struck off his head, and drove the 
whole army out of China. 

Ivan now went to the Chinese Tsar, who bowed 
to the ground, and invited him to his palace. The 
Princess Lotao, seeing blood upon Ivan's left 
hand, bound it up with her handkerchief, and in- 
vited him to remain in the palace; but, without 
heeding her, Ivan mounted his steed and trotted 


off. Then he turned his horse into the fields, and 
went himself to sleep. 

The Tsar again ordered a great banquet to be 
prepared; and the Princess Lotao went to her 
husband and tried to awaken him, but all in vain. 
On a sudden she beheld with surprise golden hair 
upon his head, from which the bladder had fallen 
off; and, stepping up to him, she saw her hand- 
kerchief bound on his left hand ; and now she 
knew that he it had been who had three times 
defeated and at last slain Polkan. Then she ran 
instantly to her father, led him into the apartment, 
and said: " See, my father! You told me I had 
married a fool; look closely at his hair, and at 
this wound which he received from Polkan." Then 
the Tsar saw that it had been he who had thrice 
delivered his empire, and he rejoiced greatly. 

When Ivan the peasant's son awoke, the Emperor 
took him by his white hands, led him into the 
palace, thanked him for the services he had ren- 
dered ; and being himself far advanced in years, 
he placed the crown upon Ivan's head. Then Ivan 
mounted the throne, and ruled happily, and lived 
with his wife for many years in the greatest har- 
mony and love. 


IN a certain country there lived a Tsar with his 
wife, who had three handsome sons ; the eldest 
was named Vasili Tsarevich, and the second 
Fedor Tsarevich, and the youngest son Ivan 
Tsarevich. One day the Tsar went out with his 
Tsarina for a walk in the garden, and on a sudden 
a violent storm came on, which carried off the 
Tsarina from his sight. The Tsar was very much 
grieved, and mourned a long time for his wife ; 
and the two eldest sons, seeing their father's sorrow, 
begged his blessing and permission to go forth 
and wander in search of their mother. So he con- 
sented, and dismissed them. 

The two sons travelled for a long time, until at 
length they came to a wide desert, where they 
pitched their tents, and waited until some one 
should pass who might show them the way. 
For three whole years they waited, but saw no 

Meanwhile the youngest brother, Ivan Tsarevich, 

grew up, and went likewise to his father, begged 

his blessing, and took leave. And he wandered 

for a long time, until at length he discerned 



in the distance some tents, up to which he rode ; 
and there he discovered his brothers. " What 
brings you to such a desolate place, brothers?" 
said he; " let us join company and travel in search 
of our mother." The others followed his advice, 
and they all journeyed on together. 

They rode on and on for many days, until at 
length they saw afar off a palace, built of crystal, 
and surrounded by a fence of the same material. 
So they rode up to the palace, and Ivan Tsarevich 
opened the gate, and entered the court-yard ; and 
at the entrance-door he saw a pillar, into which 
were fastened two rings, one of gold and the other 
of silver. Then drawing his bridle through both 
these rings, he tied up his steed, and went up the 
stairs. At the head of the stairs the King himself 
came to meet him ; and, after a long conversation, 
he found out that Ivan Tsarevich was his nephew. 
So he conducted him into his hall, and invited in 
his brothers also. 

After remaining in the palace a long time, the 
King gave the brothers a magic ball, which they 
bowled away, and then rode after it, until they 
came to a mountain, so high and steep that they 
could not ascend it. Ivan Tsarevich rode round and 
round the mountain, until at last he found a cleft. 
He stepped into it and beheld an iron door, with 



a copper ring ; and on opening this he perceived 
some iron hooks, which he fastened to his hands 
and feet, and by their aid he climbed up the moun- 
tain. On reaching the top he was very tired, and 
sat down to rest ; but no sooner had he taken off 
the hooks than they disappeared. 

In the distance upon the mountain Ivan beheld 
a tent of fine cambric, upon which was repre- 
sented a copper kingdom, and on its top was a 
copper ball. Then he approached the tent ; but 
at its entrance there lay two huge lions, which 
allowed no one to enter. Ivan Tsarevich seeing 
two copper basins standing close by, poured some 
water into them, and quenched the thirst of the 
lions, who then let him freely enter the tent. And 
when he got in, Ivan beheld a beautiful Queen 
lying on a sofa, and sleeping at her feet a dragon 
with three heads, which he cut off at a single blow. 
The Queen thanked him for this service, and gave 
him a copper egg, in which was contained a copper 
kingdom, whereupon the Tsarevich took his leave 
and went his way further. 

After travelling for a long time, he descried a 
tent of fine gauze, fastened to a cedar tree by silver 
cords, with knobs of emeralds ; upon the tent was 
represented a silver kingdom, and on the top was 
a silver ball. At the entrance lay two immense 


tigers, to which he in like manner gave to drink, 
and they permitted him to pass. On entering the 
tent he beheld, seated on a sofa, a Queen richly 
attired, who far surpassed the first one in beauty. 
At her feet lay a six-headed dragon, as large again 
as the other. Then Ivan Tsarevich struck off all 
the heads at a blow, and, as a reward for his valor, 
the Queen presented him with a silver egg, in 
which was enclosed a silver kingdom. Thereupon 
he took leave of the Queen and journeyed on. 

After a time Ivan came to a third tent, made of 
silk, upon which was embroidered a golden king- 
dom, and on its top was placed a ball of pure gold. 
The tent was fastened to a laurel tree with golden 
cords, from which hung knobs of diamonds. 
Before the entrance lay two huge crocodiles, which 
breathed forth flames of fire. The Tsarevich gave 
them some water to drink, and thus gained an 
entrance into the tent, in which he beheld a Queen, 
who in beauty far surpassed the former ones. At 
her feet lay a dragon with twelve heads, all of 
which Ivan Tsarevich struck off at two blows. 
The Queen, in return for this service, gave him a 
golden egg, which contained a golden kingdom ; 
and with the egg she gave him also her heart. As 
they were conversing together, Ivan asked the 
Queen whether she knew where his mother was; 


then she showed Ivan her dwelling, and wished 
him success in his enterprise. 

After travelling a great distance, Ivan Tsarevich 
came to a castle; he entered, and went through 
many apartments, but without finding anyone. At 
length he came to a spacious hall, where he beheld 
his mother sitting, arrayed in royal robes. Ivan 
embraced her tenderly, telling her how he had 
travelled far and wide with his brothers in search 
of her. Then the Tsarina told Ivan Tsarevich that 
a spirit would soon appear, and bade him hide 
himself in the folds of her cloak. " When the spirit 
comes and tries to embrace me," she added, "try 
all you can to seize his magic wand with both 
hands : he will then rise up with you from the 
earth; fear not, but remain quiet, for he will 
presently fall down again, and be dashed to pieces. 
These you must collect and burn, and strew the 
ashes in the field." 

Scarcely had the Tsarina spoken, and wrapped 
Ivan in her cloak, when the Spirit appeared and 
offered to embrace her. Then Ivan Tsarevich 
started up, as his mother had directed, and seized 
the magic wand. In a furious rage the Spirit flew 
with him high up into the air, but soon fell to the 
ground and was dashed in pieces. Then the Tsare- 
vich gathered up the remains and burned them, 


and kept the magic wand; after which he took 
with him his mother and the three Queens he had 
rescued, came to an oak-tree, and let them all slide 
down the mountain in a linen cloth. When his 
brothers saw him left alone on the mountain, they 
pulled the cloth from his hands, conducted their 
mother and the Queens back to their own king- 
dom, and made them promise solemnly to tell 
their father that it was the elder brothers who had 
found and rescued them. 

Ivan Tsarevich was thus left alone on the moun- 
tain, and knew not how to get down. Lost in thought 
he wandered about ; and, throwing by chance the 
magic wand from one hand to the other, on a 
sudden a man stood before him, who said : " What 
is your pleasure, Ivan Tsarevich?" Thereat Ivan 
wondered greatly, and asked the man who he was, 
and how he had come to that uninhabited mountain. 
" I am a Spirit," replied the figure, " and was 
subject to him whom you have destroyed ; but as 
you now possess his magic wand, and have changed 
it from one hand to the other which you must 
always do when you have need of me I am here 
ready to obey you." " Good!" said Ivan Tsare- 
vich; " then do me now the first service, and 
carry me back to my own kingdom." 

No sooner had Ivan uttered these words than he 


found himself at once transported to his native 
city. He wished first to know what was passing in 
the castle; but instead of going in directly, he 
went and took work in a shoemaker's shop, think- 
ing that he should not be easily recognised in such 
a place. The next morning the shoemaker went 
into the city to buy leather, and returned home so 
tipsy that he was unable to work, and left it all to 
his new assistant. But Ivan, being quite ignorant 
of shoemaking, called the Spirit to his aid, ordered 
him to take the leather and make it into shoes, and 
then lay down to sleep. 

Early the next morning, when the shoemaker 
awoke, he went to see what work Ivan had done ; 
but, perceiving him still fast asleep, he flew into a 
rage, and exclaimed: " Up, you lazy loon! have 
I engaged you only to sleep?" Ivan, stretching 
himself slowly, replied: " Have patience, master; 
first go to the workshop, and see what you shall 
find." So the shoemaker went to the shop; and 
what was his astonishment at beholding a quantity 
of shoes all made and ready ! And when he took 
up a shoe, and examined the work closely, his 
amazement only increased, and he could scarcely 
believe his eyes, for the shoes had not a single 
stitch, but were just as if cast in a mould. 

The shoemaker now took his goods, and went into 


the city to sell them; and no sooner were these 
wonderful shoes seen than they were all bought in 
the twinkling of an eye. In a short time the man 
became so renowned that his fame reached the 
palace ; then the Princesses desired him to be 
summoned, and ordered of him many dozens of pairs 
of shoes ; but they were all to be ready without 
fail the next morning. The poor shoemaker in 
vain assured them that this was impossible ; they 
only threatened that, unless he obeyed their will 
his head should be struck off, as they saw clearly 
that there was some magic in the affair. 

The shoemaker left the castle in despair, and 
went into the city to buy leather. Late in the even- 
ing he returned home, threw the leather on the 
floor, and said to Ivan : " Hark ye, fellow, what a 
piece of work you have made with your devilish 
tricks ! ' Then he told Ivan what the Princesses 
had ordered him to do, and how they had threatened 
him unless he fulfilled their commands. " Do not 
trouble yourself," said Ivan Tsarevich, " go to bed 
and sleep an hour in the morning is worth two at 
night." The shoemaker thanked him for his advice, 
threw himself on the bench, and soon began to snore 
aloud. Then Ivan Tsarevich summoned the Spirit, 
ordered him to have the work done and in readines* 
by the morning, and then lay down to sleep. 



Early the next morning, when the shoemaker 
awoke, he called to mind that he was to lose his 
head that day ; so he went in despair to Ivan to 
bid him farewell, and asked him to come and have 
a drink so that he could bear up. But Ivan said : 
" Fear nothing, man; go into the workshop and 
take the work which was ordered." The shoemaker 
went distrustfully into the shop ; but when he 
beheld all the shoes ready made, he capered about, 
not knowing what to do for joy, and embraced his 
companion. Then he took all the shoes, and hastened 
to the castle. 

When the Princesses saw all this they were more 
than ever convinced that Ivan Tsarevich must be 
in the city ; and they said to the shoemaker ; 
' ' You have well and truly fulfilled our orders ; 
but there is another service which you must render 
us; to-night a golden castle must be built opposite 
to ours, with a porcelain bridge from one to the 
other, covered with velvet." The shoemaker stood 
aghast on hearing this demand, and replied : "I 
am indeed only a poor shoemaker, and how can I 
possibly do such a thing?" " Well," replied the 
Princesses," unless you fulfil our wish your head 
shall assuredly be struck off." 

The poor fellow left the castle overwhelmed 
with grief, and wept bitterly. On his return home, 


he told Ivan Tsarevich what a feat he had been 
ordered to accomplish. " Go quietly to bed/' 
replied Ivan ; " the morning sun shall see it done." 
So the shoemaker lay down on the bench and fell 
fast asleep. Then Ivan called up the Spirit, and 
desired him to fulfil the command of the King's 
daughters, after which he went to bed. 

Early the next morning Ivan Tsarevitch awoke 
his master, and giving him a goose's wing, bade 
him go on to the bridge and sweep off the dust. 
Meanwhile Ivan went into the Golden castle. And 
when the Tsar and the Princesses went out early 
on to the balcony they were amazed at beholding 
the Castle and the bridge; but the Princesses were 
out of their wits with joy, for they were now quite 
sure that Ivan Tsarevich was in the city ; and 
presently after, indeed, they saw him at a window 
in the golden castle. Then they begged the Tsar 
and Tsarina to go with them into the castle; and 
as soon as they set foot on the staircase, Ivan Tsare- 
vich came out to meet them. Thereupon his mother 
and the three Princesses ran and embraced him, 
exclaiming : " This is our deliverer!" His brothers 
looked down ashamed, and the Tsar stood dumb 
with amazement; but his wife soon explained it all 
to him. Thereat the Tsar fell into a passion with 
his eldest sons, and was going to put them all to 



death ; but Ivan fell at his feet and said : " Dear 
father, if you desire to reward me for what I have 
done, only grant my brothers their lives, and I am 
content." Then his father raised him up, embraced 
him, and said : *' They are truly unworthy of such 
a brother!" So they all returned to the castle. 

The next day three weddings were celebrated. 
The eldest son, Vasili Tsarevich, took the Princess 
of the copper kingdom ; Fedor Tsarevich, the 
second son, chose the Princess of the silver king- 
dom, and Ivan Tsarevich settled with his Princess 
in the golden kingdom. He took the poor shoemaker 
into his household, and they all lived happily for 
many years. 


IN the famous city of Murom there once lived 
a countryman named Ivan Timofeyevich. Now 
Ivan had a son named Iliya, the joy of his heart, 
who was thirty years of age before he could walk ; 
when all at once he acquired such strength that he 
could not only run about, but made for himself a 
suit of armour and a steel spear, saddled his steed, 
and went to his parents and begged their blessing. 
11 Dear father and mother," said he " grant me per- 
mission to go to the famous city of Kiev." So his 
parents gave him their blessing and dismissed 
him, saying : " Go straight to Kiev, straight to 
the city Chernigov, but do no wrong upon your 
way, nor shed Christian blood in vain." 

Then Iliya of Murom took leave of his parents, 
and journeyed on, far into the depths of a dark 
forest, until he came to a camp of robbers. When 
the robbers saw him they longed to possess his 
noble steed, and conspired together to kill Iliya 
and seize the horse. So they fell upon Iliya of 
Murom, five-and-twenty men. But Iliya of Murom 
reined in his steed, drew an arrow from his quiver, 



laid it on his bow, and shot the shaft deep into the 
ground till it scattered the earth far and wide 
over three acres. When the robbers saw this, they 
were struck dumb with terror, fell on their knees, 
and said : " Our lord and father, dear good youth, 
we have done you wrong : in punishment for our 
crime, take all our treasures and rich dresses, and 
as many steeds as you desire." Iliya laughed and 
said : * ' What should I do with your treasures ? 
But if you have any regard for your lives, beware 
in future how you run such risks." And so saying 
he journeyed on to the famous city of Kiev. 

On his way, Iliya came to the city of Chernigov , 
which was besieged by a countless Pagan army, 
threatening to destroy its houses and churches, 
and to carry off into slavery all the princes and 
voyevodes. Iliya of Murom was terrified at the 
sight of such an army ; nevertheless, at last he 
summoned courage, and resolved to die for his 
religion. So with a brave heart and a stout spear he 
attacked the unbelieving host, scattered them to 
the winds, took their leader prisoner, and carried 
him in triumph to Chernigov. Then the citizens 
came out to meet him, headed by the governor and 
nobles, and offered him thanks for their deliver- 
ance ; whereupon they conducted Iliya to the 
ice and gave him a grand banquet. 


After this, Iliya of Murom followed the straight 
road to Kiev, which the Robber Nightingale had 
held for thirty years, and on which he suffered no 
traveller to pass, on foot or horse ; putting them 
all to death, not with the sword, but with his 
robber's whistle. When Iliya came into the open 
fields, he rode into the Brianski forest, passing over 
swamps, on bridges of elder, to the river Smaro- 
dienka. Then the Robber Nightingale, seeing him 
approach at a distance, sounded his robber whistle. 
The hero's heart quailed not, but when he was 
within ten versts the Nightingale whistled so loud 
that Iliya's steed fell down upon his knees. Then 
Iliya of Murom went straight up to the nest, which 
was built upon twelve oaks, and the Robber Night- 
ingale looked forth upon the Russian hero, whistled 
with all his might, and tried to slay him. But Iliya 
took his strong bow, and laying an arrow upon it, 
shot straight into the nest and hit the Robber 
Nightingale in his right eye; w r hereupon he fell 
down from the tree like a sheaf of oats. 

Then Iliya of Murom bound the Robber Night- 
ingale fast to his stirrup and rode off to the famous 
city of Kiev. On the road he passed the palace of 
the Nightingale, where he saw the daughters of 
the Robber looking out of the window. "See!" 
cried the youngest, " here comes riding our father, 



bringing a peasant bound to his stirrup." But the 
eldest daughter eyed Iliya more closely, and fell 
to weeping bitterly, exclaiming : " Nay, that is 
not our father, but some strange man, bringing 
our father prisoner." Then they called aloud to their 
husbands, beseeching them to ride out and meet 
the stranger, and deliver their father. Now their 
husbands were famous horsemen, and they rode 
out with their stout lances to meet the Russian 
rider, and slay him. But the Robber Nightingale, 
seeing them approach, cried out : " My sons, 
bring not disgrace upon yourselves, by provoking 
so brave a rider to slay you ; invite him rather to 
come to our palace and drink a glass of vodka/' 

Then Iliya of Murom, at their invitation, turned 
to go into the palace, little anticipating the danger 
that awaited him, for the eldest daughter had 
drawn up by a chain a huge rafter to let fall and 
slay Iliya as he rode through the gate. But Iliya 
perceived her design, and slew her with his lance. 
Thereupon he rode on toward Kiev, and going 
straight to the palace, prayed to God and saluted 
the nobles. And the Prince of Kiev said to Iliya, 
" Tell me, brave youth, what is your name, and 
whence do you come?" " My lord," replied Iliya, 
" my name is Iliyushka, and I was born in the city 
of Murom." Then the Prince asked him which 



way he had come ; and Iliya answered : "I rode 
from Murom to Chernigov, where I slew a countless 
army of pagans, and delivered the city. Thence 
I came straight hither, and on my road have captured 
the mighty Robber Nightingale, and brought him 
prisoner bound to my stirrup." But the Prince 
was wroth, for he thought Iliya was deceiving him. 
Then two of the knights, Alescha Popovich and 
Dobrinja Nikitich, rode forth to ascertain the 
truth of the matter ; and when the Prince was 
convinced, he ordered a glass of vodka to be given 
to the brave youth, and begged to hear the famous 
whistle of the Robber Nightingale. So Iliya of 
Murom took the Prince and Princess under his 
arm, wrapped in his sable pelisse, and ordered 
the Robber Nightingale to sound his whistle 
softly. But the Robber whistled so loud that he 
stunned all the knights and they fell flat upon the 
ground, whereat Iliya of Murom was so enraged that 
he slew him on the spot. 

Then Iliya formed a close friendship with 
Dobrinja Nikitich ; and saddling their steeds they 
rode off, and journeyed on for three months without 
meeting any enemy. At length they fell in with 
a cripple on the road ; his beggar's cloak weighed 
fifty poods, his bonnet nine poods, and his crutch 
was six feet long. Then Iliya of Murom rode at 
65 F 


him to try his courage ; but the cripple said : 
" Ah, Iliya of Murom, do you not remember me, 
and how we studied together at the same school ? 
And have you now the heart to slay me, a poor 
helpless cripple ? Know you not that a great 
calamity has befallen the famous city of Kiev ? 
An unbelieving knight, with a head as big as a beer- 
barrel, eyebrows a span apart, and shoulders six 
feet broad, has entered it ? He devours a whole 
ox at a time, and drinks off a barrel of beer at a 
draught. The Prince is lamenting your absence." 

Then Iliya of Murom drew the cripple's cloak 
around him, rode off to the city of Kiev, and going 
straight up to the Prince's palace, cried aloud, 
" Ho there, Prince of Kiev ! give alms to a poor 
cripple." And when the Prince heard this he said : 
" Come into my palace, and I will give you meat 
and drink, and money for your journey." Then 
Iliya went into the palace, and seated himself near 
the stove ; and close by sat the idolater, who 
called for food and drink. Thereupon the attend- 
ants brought him a whole roasted ox, which he ate 
up, bones and all ; and seven-and-twenty men 
brought him a barrel of beer, which he emptied at 
a draught. Then said Iliya of Murom : '* My 
father had once a greedy horse, which ate so much 
that he burst." At this the idolater knight fell into 


a violent rage and exclaimed : " How dare you 
provoke me with such talk, you miserable cripple? 
Are you forsooth a match for me ? Why, look ye, 
I could set you on the palm of my hand, and squeeze 
you like an orange. You had indeed a valiant hero 
in your country, Iliya of Murom, with whom I 

would fain wage a battle ; but you indeed !" 

" Here stands Iliya of Murom !" exclaimed the 
cripple ; and so saying, he took off his hat, and 
struck him a blow on the head, which, although 
not hard, drove it through the wall of the palace. 
Then Iliya took up the body, and flung it into the 
courtyard. And the Prince rewarded Iliya richly, 
and retained him at his court as his boldest and 
bravest knight. 



IN the famous city of Anton ruled the brave 
and mighty King Guidon ; who heard so much 
from his own subjects, as well as foreigners, 
of the beauty of the Princess Militrisa Kirbitovna, 
that he longed to see her. So he set out, and trav- 
elled to the city of Dimichtian, where he saw her 
many times, and fell deeply in love with her. 

When King Guidon returned home, he sent his 
servant Litscharda as ambassador to King Kirbit 
Versoulovich, the father of the Princess Militrisa 
Kirbitovna, with a letter written by his own hand, 
to ask for his daughter in marriage. When Lits- 
charda arrived at the city of Dimichtian, he 
delivered to King Kirbit the letter from his master ; 
and after Kirbit had read it through, he went at 
once to the Princess Militrisa, and said to her : 
" My dear daughter, the fame of your beauty has 
reached the brave and powerful King Guidon. He 
has been in the city to see you, and has fallen deeply 
in love with you. He has sent a messenger to de- 
mand your hand, and I have already given my 


As King Kirbit spoke these words, Militrisa fell 
to weeping ; and her father seeing this said : 
" Grieve not, dear daughter, Guidon is powerful, 
renowned, and rich ; he will be a good husband to 
you, and you will share the government with him. 
To refuse his request is impossible, for he would 
return with a large army, storm our city, and carry 
you off by force." 

When the Princess Militrisa heard this, she 
began to sob, fell on her knees, and said : " My 
lord and father, you have sovereign power over 
me, but let me confess the truth : I have seen 
Guidon, but his very look terrified me ; I fear 
therefore to marry him. I entreat you, dear father, 
to alter your resolution, and to give me to Tsar 
Dadon, who is our neighbour, a faithful friend, 
and protector of our kingdom." But Kirbit did 
not listen to her entreaties, and sent her to King 
Guidon to be his wife, in the city of Anton. Guidon 
rejoiced exceedingly at her arrival, ordered a great 
feast to be prepared for their wedding the follow- 
ing day, and set at liberty all the prisoners in his 
kingdom on this joyous event. 

For three years Guidon lived with Militrisa, 
and they had one only son, named Bova Koro- 
levich, who was of a powerful figure and handsome 
bearing, and he grew, not from day to day, but 



from hour to hour. One day Queen Militrisa 
Kirbitovna called her faithful servant Litcharda, 
and said : '* Do me a true service ; I will repay 
you with gold and precious stones : take this 
letter to Tsar Dadon, without the knowledge of 
King Guidon : fail not to do my bidding, or you 
shall die a miserable death." 

Litcharda took the private letter of the Queen, 
mounted his horse, rode to Tsar Dadon, and 
delivered the letter to him. When Dadon read it 
through he laughed, and said to Litcharda : " Your 
Queen either jokes or wishes to affront me : she 
invites me to lead my army before the city of 
Anton, and promises to deliver up her husband 
to me ; this cannot truly be meant, because she 
has a young son. "But Litcharda replied : "Mighty 
Tsar Dadon, let not this letter arouse your sus- 
picion ; put me in prison with food and drink, 
collect your army, and march to the city of Anton, 
and if the contents of the letter prove untrue, let 
me suffer death." 

When Tsar Dadon heard these words from 
Litcharda, he rejoiced, and ordering the trumpets 
to sound, he collected an army of thirty thousand 
men, marched upon the city of Anton, and en- 
camped on the royal meadows. No sooner was 
Militrisa Kirbitovna informed that Tsar Dadon 


was encamped before the city with his army, than, 
dressing herself in her best attire, she went to 
King Guidon, and, pretending to be ill, begged 
him to go out and slay a wild boar for her to eat. 
The King was glad to oblige his wife, and mount- 
ing his trusty horse, rode out to hunt. 

As soon as he had left the city, Militrisa ordered 
the drawbridges to be raised and the gates to be 
shut. And hardly had King Guidon approached 
Tsar Dadon 's rearguard, when the latter instantly 
pursued him. Guidon turned his horse towards 
the city, but flight was in vain ; when he came to 
the gates, and found them closed, and the draw- 
bridges up, he was sad at heart, and exclaimed : 
" Most miserable of men ! Now I see the cunning 
of my wicked wife, and the death she has prepared 
for me. But Bova, my dear boy, why did you not 
tell me of your mother's treachery?" As he spoke 
these words Dadon rode at him, pierced him 
through the heart with his lance, and Guidon fell 
dead from his horse. 

When Militrisa Kirbitovna saw this from the 
city walls, she ordered the gates to be opened and 
the bridges let down, and went out to meet Tsar 
Dadon, kissed him on the lips, took him by the 
white hands, and conducted him into the castle. 
Here they sat together at a table where a banquet 



was spread, and they began to feast. But the little 
boy, Bova Korolevich, young as he was, when he 
saw his mother's wicked conduct, went out of the 
castle to the stable, and sitting down under a manger 
was sad at heart. His attendant, Simbalda, saw 
him sitting there, and wept at the sight, and said : 
" My dear young master, Bova Korolevich, your 
cruel mother has let Tsar Dadon kill my good lord 
your father, and now she feasts and sports with 
the murderer in the palace. You are young, my 
child, and cannot avenge your father's death; in- 
deed, who knows but that she may kill you like- 
wise? To save our lives, therefore, we will fly to 
the city of Sumin, over which my father rules." 
And so saying, Simbalda saddled for himself a 
good steed, and for Bova a palfrey, took with him 
thirty stout young fellows, and hurried out of the 

As soon as Dadon 's followers saw this, they 
went and told their master that Bova and Simbaldt 
had escaped towards Sumin. When Tsar Dadon 
heard this he forthwith commanded his army to 
be collected, and sent in pursuit of Bova Koro- 
levich and his protector Simbalda, whom they 
overtook at a short distance from Sumin. Simbalda 
at once saw their danger, and, setting spurs to his 
horse, galloped off to the city and shut the gates. 


But Bova Korolevich, who was very young, could 
not hold his seat upon the horse, and fell to the 
ground. Then the pursuers seized Bova, and carried 
him to Tsar Dadon, who sent him to his mother, 
Militrisa ; and, collecting all his army, he rode up 
to the city of Sumin, in order to take it by force, 
and put to death its inhabitants and Simbalda ; 
and pitched his tent on the forbidden meadows 
around the city. 

One night Dadon dreamed that Bova Korolevich 
pierced him through with a lance : and when he 
awoke he called to him, his chief boyar, and sent 
him to Queen Militrisa, bidding her to put Bova 
to death. But when Militrisa Kirbitovna heard 
this message she replied : "I cannot myself kill 
him, for he is my own son ; but I will command 
him to be thrown into a dark dungeon, and kept 
without food or drink, and so he will die of 

Meanwhile Tsar Dadon lay encamped before 
the city of Sumin for half a year, but could neither 
take it by force nor starvation ; so at length he 
broke up his camp and returned to Anton. After 
his departure, Simbalda assembled an army of 
fifteen thousand men, marched upon the city of 
Anton, surrounded it on all sides, and demanded 
that Bova should be given up to him. But Dadon 



collected an army twice as strong as Simbalda's, 
and drove him back into the city of Sumin. 

One day, as Queen Militrisa was walking in her 
garden, she by chance passed the prison where 
Bova Korolevich was confined. Then he cried 
aloud: " Alas! my gracious mother, fair Queen 
Militrisa, why are you so enraged against me? 
Why have you put me in prison and given me no 
food on purpose to let me die of hunger? Have I 
grieved you by any ill conduct or cruel words, 
that you treat me in this way, or have wicked people 
spoken evil of me to you?" Militrisa answered : " I 
know of nothing wrong in you, and have only put 
you in prison on account of your irreverence to 
Tsar Dadon, who defends our kingdom against 
our enemies, while you are young; but I will soon 
set you at liberty, and will send you now some 
sweetmeats and meat; you can eat as much as you 

So saying, Queen Militrisa went into the palace 
and set to work to make two cakes, of wheaten 
dough and serpent's fat, which she baked and sent 
to Bova Korolevich by a servant maid named 
Chernavka. But when the maid came to Bova she 
said: " Master, do not eat the cakes which your 
mother has sent, but give them to the dogs, for 
they are poisoned, here is a piece of my own 



bread." So Bova took the cakes and threw them to 
the dogs, and as soon as they tasted them they 
died. And when he saw Chernavka's kindness and 
fidelity, he took her black bread and ate it, and 
begged her not to close the prison door : so she 
left it open, and when she came again to Militrisa 
she told her she had given the cakes to Bova. 

As soon as the servant was gone, Bova escaped 
from his prison and went to the harbour to forget 
his sorrow. There some drunken people seized 
and carried him on board a ship, and the merchants 
on it asked him of what condition he was. Bova 
Korolevich told them that he was of the poor class, 
and that his mother got her living by washing 
linen for strangers. When the sailors heard this 
they wondered that he should look so handsome, 
and bethought them how they might keep him with 
them. They began to wrangle as to who should be 
his master, but as soon as Bova perceived their 
intention, he told them not to quarrel for his 
sake, for that he would serve them all in turn. 

Then the shipmen left the city of Anton and 
sailed out to sea, to the Armenian kingdom of 
King Sensibri Andronovitch. There they cast 
anchor, and went into the city to follow their 
business ; whilst Bova went on shore, and wan- 
dered about, playing on the lute. Meantime the 



port officers came on board the ship, whom King 
Sensibri sent to enquire whence the ship had come, 
who the merchants were, and what was their 
business. But when they heard Bova Korolevich 
playing, and saw the beauty of his features, they 
forgot what they had come for, and returning to 
King Sensibri, said only that they had seen a youth 
of unspeakable beauty on board the ship, who 
played on the lute so wonderfully that they vere 
never tired of listening to him ; adding, that they 
had quite forgotten to enquire what wares the ship 
contained. When the King heard this he went 
himself to the ship, and when he had seen Bova, 
he offered to purchase him, but the merchants 
would not sell him for any price, telling the King 
that he belonged to them all equally, and relating 
how they had picked him up on the seashore. At 
this King Sensibri flew into a rage, and instantly 
ordered them to be driven out of his kingdom, 
forbidding them ever to return. On hearing this 
order, the merchants agreed to sell Bova Koro- 
levich for three hundred bars of gold. 

When Bova was brought to the Court, the King 
called to him and said : " Tell me, young fellow, 
to what class do you belong, and what is your 
name?" And Bova replied: "Gracious King, 
Sensibri Andronovich, I am of the poor class, and 


lost my father at an early age : my mother washes 
linen for strangers; and thus supports herself and 
me. My name is Anhusei, and I will serve thee 
henceforth faithfully.'' 

When the King heard this he said : " As you 
are of the lowest class and cannot remember your 
father, go into my stables, and you shall be the 
head over all my grooms." So Bova made his bow 
and went into the stable. 

Bova often drove out with his comrades to the 
forbidden meadows of the King, to get grass for 
the horses ; but he never took a sickle with him, 
but pulled all the grass with his hands, and 
gathered himself as much as ten men together 
could mow. When the other grooms saw this they 
were amazed at his strength. His fame at length 
reached the King's daughter, the fair Drushnevna, 
who went to see him : and as soon as she beheld 
Bova, she was enraptured with his uncommon 
beauty. And one day she said to the King ** My 
gracious father, you are indeed powerful and re- 
nowned, not only in your own kingdom, but in all 
countries far and near, and no King, Tsar, or 
Knight can compare with you; but, O King! 
you have no trusty and clever steward in your 
household. Now, I have heard that there is a young 
lad in our royal stables whom you have purchased 


from some shipmen ; his name is Anhusei. This 
lad will prove trusty and useful in your service ; 
order him to be taken from the stable and employed 
in your household." 

King Sensibri replied: "My dear daughter, I 
have never refused to grant any one of your wishes, 
and in this matter too you are free to do as you 
will." When the Princess Drushnevna heard these 
words, she thanked her father, made her obeisance, 
and went out. Then she ordered Bova to be called 
and desired him to leave his old task and to enter 
on his new employment in the household. 

The next day she called Bova to her and said : 
" Hark ye, Anhusei, to-morrow my father will 
have a great feast, and all the princes, boyars, and 
knights will be present to eat and drink and sport ; 
you must stand near me at the table to do my 
bidding." Thereupon Bova made his bow and was 
going away, but the Princess Drushnevna called 
him back, and said : " Tell me the truth, young 
fellow, what class do you belong to of boyar or 
kingly race? Or are you the son of some brave 
knight, or of a merchant from a foreign land? And 
what is your true name ? I believe not that you are 
born of common folk as you told my father." Then 
Bova replied : " Gracious Lady, I have told your 
royal father truly my name and condition, and 


can only repeat it to you." And so saying he left 
the room. 

On the morrow the King held a great feast, and 
Bova had to hold a roasted swan to the Princess 
Drushnevna, which she began to carve; and, on 
purpose, she let fall a fork on the floor. Bova in- 
stantly picked it up, and as he held it out to her 
she kissed him on the head. As soon as the feast 
was ended, Bova lay down to sleep, and slept 
three days and three nights ; no shaking could 
arouse him. The fourth day, when he awoke, he 
rode out into the open country, walked into 
the forbidden meadows, gathered some beautiful 
flowers, and, making a wreath, placed it on his 
head, and so went into the city. When the Princess 
saw him thus decked out, she called him before 
her, and bade him take the wreath from his head 
and place it on hers. Bova did not obey ; but he 
took the wreath from his head, pulled it to pieces, 
and flung it on the ground; then he left the room, 
and shut the door after him with such force that 
he pulled out the silver handle, and a stone fell 
from the wall and wounded him on the head. The 
fair Drushnevna hearing this, cured his wound 
with her medicines ; and when it was healed Bova 
lay down again to sleep, and slept five days and five 



Now at this time King Marcobrun came from 
the kingdom beyond the Don, with many hundred 
thousand warriors; and surrounding the Armenian 
city with his anny, he sent an ambassador to Sen- 
sibri to demand the Princess his daughter Drush- 
nevna for wife ; promising, in return, to reward 
and defend him ; but threatening, in case of his 
refusal, to destroy the city with fire and sword, 
to throw him into prison, and carry off his daughter 
by force. Then King Sensibri answered: " Tell 
your Master, the renowned King Marcobrun that, 
until this day, I have never had any disagreement 
with him, but have lived in friendship and good- 
will ; and that I have no desire now to quarrel 
with him ; but better it had been to have sent 
you with a simple request instead of threats. 
I pardon him, however, on account of his youth, 
and invite him to my royal castle to eat bread 
and salt, and to celebrate the marriage with my 

King Sensibri dismissed the messenger, and 
commanding the city gates to be opened, went 
himself to meet King Marcobrun, took him by 
his white hands, led him into the marble palace, 
seated him at an oaken table spread with checkered 
tablecloths and sweetmeats, and they fell to eating 
and drinking and disport. 



Just then Bova Korolevich awoke from his five 
days' sleep, and heard the confused sounds of men, 
and the neighing of horses, outside the city. Where- 
upon he went into the white marble palace to 
Princess Drushnevna, and said : " Gracious Lady, 
I hear the sounds of men and horses outside the 
city, and people say that Marcobrun's nobles are 
amusing themselves with holding a tournament. I 
have a wish to join in it ; command, I pray, a good 
steed to be given me, and allow me to go forth and 
see the sports." 

The Princess answered : " My little fellow 
Anhusei, how can you ride with Marcobrun's 
nobles? You are still very young, and cannot sit 
fast on a horse. However, if you have so great a 
longing to go, choose a good horse and ride off to 
see the sport; but take no weapon, and do not 
mingle in their games." 

The instant Bova received this permission he 
went into the stable, straddled across a broom, and 
so rode out of the city. And as soon as Marcobrun's 
nobles saw Bova Korolevich riding upon a broom, 
they began to laugh at him, and cried : " Look, 
look at King Sensibri's groom ! riding cock-horse 
upon a broom ! to sweep the field and make us 
room!" But Bova did not relish their jokes, and 
riding up to them, he defended himself with his 

81 G 


broom, laying about him right and left, and knocking 
them down by twos and threes. When Marcobrun's 
nobles saw this sport they rushed upon Bova, ten 
or more at once; but he took them as they came, 
and overthrew them all. Thereat the other knights 
were enraged, and attacked Bova, two hundred in 
a body, and tried to ride him down. Still Bova 
flinched not, but slew them all, one after another, 
to the number of two hundred thousand men. 
When the King's daughter saw this from her 
window, she went to her father and said : " My 
gracious father, command your servant Anhusei to 
return. He has ridden forth to see the sports of 
Marcobrun's nobles; but they are engaged against 
him, and are attacking him with great fury. It were 
a shame to let him be slain : he is still but a young 
child, and has little strength." So King Sensibri 
Andronovich instantly sent to Bova, and ordered 
him to return to the city. 

Bova obeyed the command, rode back to the 
city, lay down to sleep, and slept for nine days and 
nine nights. Meanwhile the powerful Tsar and 
knight Lukoper came to the Armenian kingdom : 
his head was as large as a beer-barrel, his eyebrows 
were a span apart, his shoulders an arrow's length 
broad, and he was as tall as a journey. Never before 
had such a powerful knight been heard of; and 


he came at the head of a host twice as strong as the 
army of Marcobrun. Then he surrounded the city 
of King Sensibri, and sent an ambassador to him, 
demanding the hand of the Princess Drushnevna; 
threatening, if he refused, to lay waste his city with 
fire and sword, to imprison all the inhabitants, to 
overthrow Marcobrun's army, slay both Kings, 
and carry off the Princess Drushnevna. But if 
Sensibri assented to his demand, Lukoper promised 
him his aid and protection. 

When King Sensibri heard this message he 
dared not refuse,, and dismissed the ambassador 
without an answer. Then he called Marcobrun, 
and took counsel with him, and they agreed to 
attack Lukoper with all their forces. They forth- 
with ordered their horses to be saddled; each 
seized in his right hand a steel sword, and in his 
left a sharp lance, and they rode forth out of the 
city. When the Tsar Lukoper beheld them, he rode 
with the blunt end of his lance against Marcobrun 
and Sensibri, overthrew them one after another, 
took them prisoners, and sent them to his father, 
Saltan Saltanovich, who was encamped with his 
army on the seashore. Then Lukoper fell upon the 
armies of Sensibri and Marcobrun, and slew them 
without mercy, while his gallant steed trampled 
down still more than he killed; and in a short 



time the royal forbidden meadows were covered 
with the dead. 

Just at this time Bova Korolevich awoke from 
his sleep, and heard the noise of Lukoper's army, 
and the neighing of the horses. Then he went to 
the Princess Drushnevna and said: "Gracious 
Lady, I hear the noise of Lukoper's warriors, who 
are disporting in a tourney after the victory over 
your father and Marcobrun, whom he has sent 
prisoners to his father the Tsar Saltan Saltanovich, 
on the seashore. I am therefore come, as your 
faithful servant, to crave permission to take from 
the royal stable a good horse, with trappings, a 
sword, and a steel lance. Let me go forth against 
Lukoper's army, measure my strength with him, 
and try the valour of his boasting warriors.'* The 
Princess answered : " I will consent to your wish, 
young fellow ; but you must first tell me truly of 
what rank of life you are, and what is your real 
name ? You have not told my father the truth : 
your handsome figure and valorous deeds show 
clearly that you are no poor man's son." 

" Lady," replied Bova Korolevich, " I would 
not disclose to you my true rank and name, but 
that I am now going forth to a battle of life and 
death, and know not whether I shall return from 
it alive, or lose my head in rescuing my King from 


prison; therefore I will confess the truth. My 
father was the renowned King Guidon, a mighty 
hero in the field, and a merciful prince to his sub- 
jects. My mother is Queen Militrisa, daughter of 
the Tsar Kirbit Versoulovich : my name is Bova. 
I left my country in early youth, when King Dadon 
laid waste our kingdom, treacherously murdered 
my father, and seized upon his dominions. He 
sought to kill me too; but I fled, sailed with some 
merchants to your kingdom, and was bought by 
your father." 

When the Princess heard this story she loved 
Bova Korolevich still more, and she said to him : 
" Brave Knight, you would engage in a fight of 
life and death with the Tsar Lukoper, but you do 
not know, perhaps, how powerful he is, and what 
an immense army he has with him; besides, you 
are still very young, and have not the strength of 
manhood. Stay rather in my city, take me for your 
wife, and protect my country and people against 
our foes." 

Bova, however, was unmoved by her words ; 
and again entreated her to let him have a steed 
and armour. When the Princess Drushnevna saw 
how earnestly he begged, she took from the wall & 
battle sword, buckled it on him with her own hands, 
put on his armour, and led him to the stone stable 



to fetch a steed, which stood there behind twelve 
iron doors and twelve huge locks. Then she com- 
manded the grooms to strike off the locks ; but 
as soon as the horse perceived a rider worthy of 
him, he began to burst the doors with his hoofs, 
broke them all down, ran out, set himself on his 
hind legs before Bova, and neighed so loud that 
the fair Drushnevna and all the bystanders were 
ready to fall down senseless. 

When Bova took the horse by his black-grey 
mane and began to pat him, he stood still as if 
rooted to the spot ; and Bova Korolevich seeing 
this, placed a Tcherkess saddle upon him, with 
girths of Persian silk and golden buckles. And 
when he vaulted into the saddle and took leave of 
the Princess Drushnevna, she embraced and kissed 
him. The royal Chamberlain, named Orlop, who 
saw this, began to reproach her, which angered 
Bova so much that he hurled him to the ground 
half-dead with the butt end of his lance, and rode 
out of the city. Then Bova struck the flanks of his 
steed, which started, rose from the ground, and 
leaped over the city wall. 

When Bova beheld the camp of the Tsar Lukoper, 

in which the tents stood as thick as trees in a forest, 

he drew his battle sword and mace, and rode 

straight against the mighty Tsar. The crash of 



two mountains falling upon one another is not so 
great as was the onset between these two powerful 
knights. Lukoper struck at Bova's heart with his 
lance, but Bova parried the thrust with his shield, 
and the lance was shivered in pieces. Then Bova 
struck Lukoper on the head with his sword, and 
cleft his body in twain to the very saddle; after 
which he fell upon Lukoper's army, and many as 
he slew with his battle axe, as many again were 
trodden down under his horse's hoofs. Bova fought 
five days without resting, and overthrew well nigh 
the whole army; a small number only escaped, 
who fled to the Tsar Saltan, and said to him : 
" Our Lord Tsar Saltan Saltanovich, after we had 
taken prisoners Tsars Sensibri and Marcobrun, 
and had overthrown all their enemies, a young fellow 
of handsome look rushed out of Sensibri 's city, 
who slew your brave son Lukoper in single combat , 
and routed our whole army. He is even now in 
pursuit of us, slaying all whom he can overtake, 
and will presently attack you." 

On hearing this, Tsar Saltan was seized with 
terror, and hastened with his troops on board his 
ships, leaving all his tents and treasures behind, 
cut the cable, and instantly set sail from the 
Armenian kingdom. But hardly had he left the 
shore when Bova rode into the camp, and found 



not a single living soul except the Kings Marco- 
brun and Sensibri, who lay bound hand and foot 
beside Saltan's tent. Bova Korolevich freed them 
from their bonds, and rode with them back to the 
Armenian kingdom. 

On the way Sensibri Andronovich said to Bova : 
" My trusty servant Anhusei, I see your fidelity 
and valour ; I owe my liberty to you, and I know 
not how to reward you : ask of me whatsoever you 
desire my treasures are at your command." Then 
Bova answered: " My gracious lord King, I am 
rewarded by your royal favour, and ask no more ; 
but I will serve you faithfully to the best of my 
power." And as they conversed thus they came to 
the Armenian city, where they feasted and made 
merry. Then Bova lay down to sleep, and slept 
nine days and nine nights. 

At length Kings Sensibri and Marcobrun, tired 
of feasting, rode out into the fields to hunt for 
three days. And meanwhile it happened that the 
Chamberlain, jealous of the favour that the King 
showed to Bova, called to him thirty young fellows 
and said : " My friends, you see that this rascal 
Anhusei has deceived our King and the Princess 
Drushnevna, and, turning their favour from us, 
drives us from their presence. Come with me into 
the stable where he sleeps; let us put him to 


death, and I will reward you with gold and silver, 
with jewels and fine clothes." When Orlop had 
told his plan, one of the thirty answered : " We 
are not strong enough to slay Anhusei in his sleep ; 
should he awake he would kill us all. A better plan 
would be for one of us to lie in the King's bed, 
whilst he is out at the chase, to summon Anhusei, 
and give him a letter to the Tsar Saltan Saltanovich 
desiring him to put Anhusei to death." 

When the Chamberlain Orlop heard this he 
leaped for joy, embraced the fellow who had given 
this wicked advice, and rewarded him more than 
the rest. And when the letter was prepared, Orlop 
went and lay down in the King's bed, called Bova 
to him, and said: "Do me a service, Anhusei; 
take this letter and give it to the Tsar Saltan with 
your own hand. On your return I will reward you 
in any way you may desire." Bova, who was half 
asleep, did not discover the cheat, but took the 
letter, went out and saddled a good horse, and rode 
off to the kingdom of the Tsar Saltan. 

Bova rode for two months, until he came to a 
desert, where there was neither river, brook, nor 
fountain, and grew sore athirst. At length he met 
a pilgrim, who had a leather bottle full of water, 
and he begged him for a draught to quench his 
thirst. The old man secretly put a sleeping powder 



into the water and gave it to Bova; but hardly 
had he drunk it than it took effect, and he fell 
from his horse and slept like one dead. Then the 
old man took the battle sword, mounted the horse 
and rode off, leaving Bova alone and unarmed in 
the midst of the desert. 

Bova slept on for ten days; and when he awoke 
and saw that his steed, his sword, and battle axe 
were all gone he wept bitterly and said to himself : 
11 It seems that I am doomed to lose my life in this 
service, and that King Sensibri has sent me to 
Tsar Saltan only to meet death in return for my 
fidelity." Then he went his way on foot, and his 
head hung lower than his shoulders. 

When Bova Korolevich appeared before the 
Tsar Saltan he bowed to the ground, handed him 
the letter and said : " Long life to you, gracious 
lord and Tsar Saltan Saltanovich! I am sent by 
King Sensibri to your Majesty to bring news of 
his health, to enquire after yours, and to deliver 
to your Majesty this letter." Then Saltan took the 
letter, broke the seal, and after reading it exclaimed 
aloud : " Where are my valiant knights, my faith- 
ful servants and warriors? Seize this messenger 
from King Sensibri, and lead him to the gallows, 
for he has slain my dear son and destroyed our 
mighty army." 



Thereupon sixty of Saltan's knights rode forth, 
surrounded Bova, and led him into the open fields 
to hang him. On the way Bova bethought him how 
he could have deserved such a shameful death, 
and to lose his life in the flower of his days. " Better 
had it been," said he, " if my mother had killed 
me in the city of Anton, or if I had been slain by 
Marcobrun's nobles or by Lukoper in the field." 
And with that he rose up, overthrew all the sixty 
knights, and fled out of the kingdom. 

When the Tsar Saltan heard this, he instantly 
commanded the trumpets to sound, and collected 
his knights to the number of a hundred thousand, 
pursued Bova Korolevich, and surrounded him 
on all sides. Bova had neither a good steed, a sharp 
sword, nor a steel lance he had nothing with 
which to defend himself. Then he seized one of 
Saltan's warriors, and began to fight with him; 
but he saw that he could not slay them all, and 
gave himself up prisoner. So they seized him, 
bound his hands, and led him before Saltan Saltan- 
ovich. As soon as the Tsar saw Bova he ordered the 
hangman to be fetched, to hang him. 

Just then the Tsar's daughter, the fair Princess 
Miliheria, fell on her knees before her father and 
said: " My gracious lord and father, do not let 
Bova be hung, but allow me to speak ; his death 



will not bring either my brother or your army to 
life again. Rather grant him his life, turn him to 
our faith, and make him the successor to your 
throne. Then will he be a defence in war to your 
old age." 

The Tsar answered : 4< My dear daughter, 
Miliheria, you comfort me with your tender words 
and wise advice ;I give Bova into your hands, and 
if he embraces our faith he shall be my successor 
and your husband, and I will resign to him all my 
cities and villages, my treasures of gold and jewels." 

The Tsar's daughter made her obeisance to her 
father, left the hall, and ordered Bova to be brought 
before her. Then she endeavoured with gentle 
speech to persuade him to adopt her faith ; but 
Bova answered that neither for the whole kingdom, 
nor all the treasures of gold and jewels, would he 
consent to change his faith. 

Then Miliheria commanded Bova to be led to 
prison, and the entrance to be stopped up with 
sand, and that he should have no food nor drink 
for five days. At the end of this time she put on a 
gold-embroidered dress, adorned with jewels, and 
went to the prison. Then she ordered the sand to 
be removed, and the door to be opened, and, 
going in, she said to Bova: " Now, young fellow, 
have you considered the matter? Will you change 


your faith, and live, and rule over my father's king- 
dom, or have you not yet overcome your obstinacy 
and will rather end your life on gallows?" 

" Never, as long as I live, will I deny my faith,'* 
answered Bova, " nor abandon it for yours. Tempt 
me not in vain with cunning words and promises ; 
I will rather suffer death than be a despicable 

The Princess Miliheria was very angry at Bova's 
answer ; she went instantly to her father and said : 
" My lord and father, I confess to you my wrong 
in having interceded for the life of this unbelieving 
prisoner, in the hope of converting him to our 
faith, and making him a good subject of your 
Majesty. But now I see his obstinacy and hard 
heart, I no longer plead for him, but give him back 
into your hands; do with him as you will." And 
so saying she went out. 

Saltan Saltanovich, on hearing this, called to him 
thirty bold knights, and sent them to Bova's prison ; 
but when they came thither they could not remove 
the sand from the door as the Tsar's daughter, in 
her anger, had heaped up too much ; and they 
thought of taking off the roof and dragging Bova 
out. Then Bova Korolevich was sad at heart, and 
said, weeping : " Alas, I am the most unfortunate 
of men ! I have neither sword nor battle-axe, 



while my foes are numberless, and I am moreover 
weakened by five days' hunger and confinement. " 
Then he sat down in a corner of the prison and felt 
close to him on the ground a sword of steel. He 
seized it, overjoyed, turned it round and round, 
and scarcely trusted his unlooked-for prize. Then 
he went to the spot where Saltan 's knights were 
letting themselves down into the prison ; and 
cutting off their heads, one after the other as they 
came down, he laid them in a heap. 

Meanwhile Saltan was awaiting the return of 
the knights whom he had sent after Bova ; at last 
he was angered at their long delay, and sent as 
many more to their help ; but Bova slew these 
likewise, and piled up their bodies in a heap ; and 
climbing up this he escaped from prison and hastened 
to the harbour, where he saw a ship lying at anchor. 
Then he cried with a loud voice: " Ho, masters! 
take an honest young fellow on board your ship ! 
Save me from a cruel death, and I will reward you 

When the merchants heard this they sent a boat 
to the shore and took Bova Korolevich on board 
the ship. Presently his pursuers came galloping 
up in pursuit of Bova, and with them the Tsar 
Saltan Saltanovich himself. Then Saltan cried 
aloud to the sailors : " Ho! you foreign merchants, 


surrender instantly yon malefactor, who has escaped 
from my prison and taken refuge in your ship I 
Deliver him up or I will never again allow you to 
trade in my kingdom, but command you to be 
seized and put to a miserable death." 

The merchants were terrified by these threats, 
and were about to send Bova back to shore ; but 
he drew a sword from under his cloak, laid about 
him, and slew them right and left. At the sight of 
this the rest fell on their knees before him, and 
promised to sail with him wherever he wished. 
Then Bova ordered them to set sail and steer for the 
open sea. And after a voyage of three months they 
came to the kingdom over the Don ; and not know- 
ing it he enquired of a fisherman what country it was 
he saw in the distance. " Yonder lies the Sadonic 
kingdom," replied the fisherman, " and the king 
of it is named Marcobrun." Then Bova asked : 
" Can it be the same Marcobrun who went to seek 
the hand of the daughter of King Sensibri?" 
" The same," replied the fisherman, " and he has 
not long returned home with his betrothed, the 
Princess Drushnevna; their wedding is speedily 
to be celebrated." 

When Bova Korolevich heard this, he staggered, 
and for a time could not utter a word. At length 
he came to himself, and said to the fisherman : 



" Land me on the other side, my good fellow, and 
I will reward you handsomely." Then he divided 
among the ship's crew the property of the merchants 
he had slain, took leave of them, and went to the 
Sadonic kingdom. On landing, Bova directed his 
steps towards Marcobrun's chief city. For two 
days he went on and on without meeting anyone. 
On the third day he met the pilgrim who had 
given him the sleeping-powder and robbed him 
of his sword, his battle-axe, and steed. Then Bova 
seized and flung him on the ground, saying : 
" Villain! you robbed me with a pitcher of water, 
carried off my brave steed, and left me helpless in 
a desert, to be torn to pieces by wild beasts. Now 
take your reward and die." 

Then the pilgrim entreated Bova for mercy : 
" Brave knight, have pity and grant my life ! I 
will give back your horse, your sword, and battle- 
axe, and, for my crime, three powders besides. 
Wash yourself with one of these and you will be- 
come old, so that no one will recognize you ; if 
you wash with the second, you will grow young as 
before ; and if you put the third powder into any 
person's drink he will sleep as soundly as if he were 
dead for nine days." 

When Bova Korolevich heard this, he took the 
powders, the battle sword, and the battle axe ; 


but gave back the horse and his clothes to the 
pilgrim. Thereupon he washed himself with the 
first powder, and went to the royal court and 
began to beg alms in the kitchen, in the name of 
Bova Korolevich. One of the cooks, hearing this, 
seized a brand from the hearth, beat Bova on the 
head, exclaiming : "Be off, you worthless fellow ! 
don't come begging here in Bova's name : it is 
forbidden in this country to utter his name under 
pain of death." 

Bova did not feel the blow, but seized a brand, 
belaboured the cook, and said : " What mean 
you, scoundrel, to beat your betters? You might 
first have tried words before coming to blows." 
But the poor cook had already given up the ghost, 
and this exhortation was thrown away upon him. 
When his comrades saw this they ran out and told 
the Seneschal, who went into the kitchen and asked 
Bova how the matter stood. Then Bova said to the 
Seneschal : " Noble sir, I know not the customs of 
this country, and have heard nothing of your pro- 
hibition. I begged alms of your cook, in the name of 
Bova Korolevich, knowing that he was everywhere 
honoured for his valour ; but the man beat me 
with a cudgel, without saying a word ; I returned 
the blows and have killed him unintentionally." 

When the Seneschal heard this, his anger was 
97 H 


turned into favour, and he said to Bova : " Hark 
ye, old man ; from this hour on never more beg 
alms in Bova's name, for we are commanded to 
slay anyone who speaks a word in his praise in 
this country ; you are, however, pardoned for your 
ignorance. Go straight to the back court, where you 
will see the fair Princess Drushnevna, who gives 
alms to beggars like you. In three days her wedding 
with King Marcobrun is to be celebrated." 

Bova bowed to the Seneschal, and went to the 
back court, where he beheld Drushnevna ; but 
there was such a crowd of beggars that he could 
not make his way up to her, and many of them beat 
and pushed about the old man. This annoyed Bova, 
and he began to push in turn, and soon made his 
way to the fair Drushnevna, and said : " Gracious 
Princess, betrothed to the renowned King Marco- 
brun, give me alms, in the name of Bova Koro- 

When the Princess heard these words her 
countenance changed : she let fall from her hand 
the dish with the money, and could scarcely stand. 
Then she ordered one of her maids to distribute 
the alms amongst the beggars, called Bova to her, 
and asked him why he had begged alms in that 
name. And Bova answered : " My gracious Lady, 
I know Bova Korolevich well, for I was with him 


in the same prison, in the kingdom of the Tsar 
Saltan ; we ate black bread and drank dirty water 
together, and I shared with him hunger and cold ; 
he confessed to me that you, fair Princess, loved 
him dearly, and had pledged him your word to 
marry no one but him. Therefore I have had the 
boldness to beg alms in his name." 

" Ah, my good man," said Drushnevna, " where 
did you leave Bova Korolevich? If I but knew 
where he was I would instantly go and seek him, 
were it through thrice nine lands to the thirtieth 

" He was released from prison with me," replied 
Bova ; " and I came to this kingdom in his com- 
pany ; he stayed behind, and whither he is gone 
I know not ; but I wandered to this city." As he 
spoke, King Marcobrun entered, and saw tears in 
Drushnevna's eyes ; he asked her why she wept, 
and whether anyone had offended her. " No, King 
Marcobrun, I wept on hearing from this man that 
my father is lying on his death-bed." Then Marco- 
brun ordered Bova to go away, and tried to comfort 
the Princess. " My dear Drushnevna, grieve not 
for your father's illness ; he will recover ; your 
grief cannot help him, and will only injure your 
health : your dark eyes will be dimmed with tears, 
and sorrow will destroy your beauty." 



As the King was speaking, Bova went into the 
stable, where his trusty steed stood fastened with 
twelve chains. And when the horse heard his brave 
rider approach, he began to burst through the 
iron doors and break his chains ; and having done 
so, and escaped into the open fields, he galloped 
up to Bova, seated himself on his hind legs, and 
tried to embrace him. Bova seized him by the 
mane and stroked his neck. 

When the grooms saw this they went and told 
it all to Marcobrun. And the King hastened into 
the courtyard, and saw Bova and the horse ; then, 
calling to him, he ordered him to serve in the 
stables of his court and to tend his war-horse. 
When the Princess Drushnevna heard this, she 
summoned Bova and asked him how he could 
undertake to tame this steed, which no one ever 
ventured to approach on account of his rage. And 
Bova answered : " Gracious Princess, this horse 
is restive and fierce to King Marcobrun's grooms, 
who have never ridden on him ; but he knows his 
former master in the kingdom of Sensibri Andron- 
ovich, and him he obeys. The horse recognized 
me at once, and you have thrice spoken with me, 
and have not discovered that I am Bova Koro- 

So saying, he was going away, but the Princess 


held him back, and said : " Trouble me not with 
your prate, old man, nor mock my grief ; I know 
Bova Korolevich ; he is young and handsome, 
but you are old and grey-headed." 

" If you believe me not," replied Bova, " order 
some water to be brought, and you shall see 
whether I speak the truth." So they brought a 
basin of water, and Bova washed himself before 
the eyes of Drushnevna with the white powder, 
and instantly he was young and handsome as 
before. And when the Princess saw this she jumped 
from her seat for joy, threw her arms round Bova's 
neck, and said : " My dear friend, Bova Korolevich, 
for your sake I have refused these three years to 
obey my father and listen to the suit of King 
Marcobrun; but not hearing any tidings of you 
for so long a time I thought you were dead, and 
was compelled, against my will, to come with 
Marcobrun to his kingdom. Here I have deferred 
the wedding from day to day, in the hope of hearing 
some tidings of you; but now that I see you face 
to face I can boldly dismiss Marcobrun and wander 
with you to the end of the world." 

" My dear Drushnevna," replied Bova Koro- 
levich, " you may rely on my valour ; but we 
cannot now leave this place openly on account of 
the great number of Marcobrun's warriors, and 


the multitudes of people, whom not ten of the 
bravest knights could slay, especially in the heart 
of their city. But take this powder and mix it in 
Marcobrun 's drink : he will then sleep soundly 
for nine days, and in this time we can fly from his 

Hardly had he spoken, given her the powder, 
and gone away, when King Marcobrun came in. 
Then Drushnevna spoke with him softly and 
kindly, brought him a glass of sweet mead on a 
silver tray, and shook the sleeping powder into it : 
Marcobrun, charmed by her coaxing manner, 
instantly took the mead, drank it off, and presently 
fell asleep. 

The Princess Drushnevna went out and ordered 
her faithful servants to bring her a good nag, and 
the kingly steed for Bova Korolevich. Then she 
gave him a suit of armour, and in the darkness of 
the night they fled out of the kingdom. For three 
days they rode on without stopping, and on the 
fourth they chose out a pleasant spot, halted by a 
clear brook, pitched a tent, and, tired with their 
journey, fell fast asleep. 

It was a fine morning when Bova Korolevich 

took his steed to water, and on a sudden the horse 

began to neigh and stamp on the ground, and thus 

gave Bova to understand that an enemy was 



advancing against him. Then he saddled his steed, 
donned his armour, girded on his battle sword, 
and went into the tent and took leave of Drushnevna 
saying : " My dear Princess, I am going out to 
fight with a great army, but grieve not for me. 
Before the sun goes down I shall have gained the 
victory and returned to you." So saying, he rode 
forth against the enemy, and defeated them, so 
that only three men were left alive. And when he 
heard that the army was sent by Marcobrun in 
pursuit of him, he said to these three knights : 
" Tell King Marcobrun to beware of pursuing me 
lest he lose his whole army, for he knows well who 
I am." Thereupon these three rode back to their 
King, and told him that Bova had slain the army 
of three hundred thousand men, and that they 
three alone survived. Then Marcobrun ordered 
the trumpets to sound, and assembled an army of 
four million men, and said to his boyars : " My 
faithful servants, pursue Bova, and bring him and 
Drushnevna alive to me." And all the kingdom 
answered with one voice : " Our Lord and King, 
you have a knight Polkan who has been confined 
in prison for many years ; perhaps he can overtake 
Bova, for he clears seven versts at a single leap. 
From his head to his waist he is a man the rest 
of his body is in the form of a horse." 


On hearing this from the knights, Marcobrun 
sent immediately for Polkan, and said to him : 
" Sir Polkan, pursue Bova Korolevich and bring 
him and Drushnevna to me ; I will reward you 
richly." So Polkan promised to fulfil his command, 
and hastened after Bova and the Princess. 

One day Bova was walking in the fields near his 
tent when on a sudden he heard Polkan come 
running ; he stepped into the tent and said to 
Drushnevna : " My dear Princess I can hear a 
powerful knight come riding this way in the direc- 
tion from Marcobrun 's kingdom ; but I do not 
know whether he will prove a friend or foe." Then 
Drushnevna answered : " No doubt it is some one 
whom Marcobrun has sent in pursuit of us, and 
he must be the stout knight Polkan, who can leave 
behind him seven versts at a bound : he will soon 
overtake us." 

Bova took his battle sword, mounted his steed, 
and rode forth. Polkan met him, and cried aloud 
with a terrible voice : " Ha, rascal ! you shall not 
escape out of my hands ! ' And so saying, he tore 
up by the roots an oak of a hundred years' growth 
and struck Bova with it on the head ; but Bova 
staggered not under the blow ; with both hands he 
seized his battle sword, and aimed at Polkan to slay 
him ; but he missed his blow, and the sword was struck 


half-way up to the hilt in the earth, and Bova fell 
from his saddle. Then Polkan caught his horse ; 
but the horse began to fight with his feet, and bite 
with his teeth, until Polkan fled. The horse followed 
him, until Polkan 's strength quite failed him and 
he dropped half-dead near the tent of Bova Koro- 
levich. Then Bova went up to Polkan and asked 
him whether he had rather live or die ; and Polkan 
replied : " Brother Bova, let us make peace with 
one another and be brothers, and there will not be 
our match in the wide world." So Bova made a 
treaty with Polkan, and Bova was to be the elder 
and Polkan the younger brother. 

Then Bova mounted his good steed and Drush- 
nevna her palfrey, and Polkan followed them. Thus 
they rode for a long time, and at length they saw 
before them the city of Kostel, in which ruled the 
Tsar Uril. And when Uril heard of their approach 
he ordered the city gates to be closed and made 
fast. Then Polkan ran and leaped over the walls 
and opened the gates, whereupon Bova and 
Drushnevna rode into the city. The Tsar Uril 
came to meet them with the Tsarina, and conducted 
them with great honour into the palace, and they 
all fell to feasting and making merry. 

Meanwhile King Marcobrun advanced against 
the city of Kostel with three times a hundred 


thousand men, beleaguered the city, and sent an 
ambassador to the Tsar Uril, commanding him 
fiercely to deliver up to him Bova, Drushnevna, 
and Polkan. Then Tsar Uril assembled his army, 
took with him his two sons, and went out to fight 
with Marcobrun ; they fought bravely, but Marco- 
brun overthrew their whole army, and took the 
Tsar and his sons prisoners. Then Uril promised 
King Marcobrun to deliver up Bova, Drushnevna, 
and Polkan, and left his sons as hostages. So 
Marcobrun dismissed the Tsar Uril, and gave him 
a million and a hah men from his army, to fetch 
Bova and Polkan. 

The Tsar Uril went into his chamber and lay 
down to sleep ; but Polkan stepped to the door 
of his room and listened to what the Tsar should 
say of him to his wife. Then the Tsar told the 
Tsarina how he had left his sons as hostages with 
Marcobrun and promised to deliver up Bova, 
Drushnevna, and Polkan. And the Tsarina re- 
plied : " My dear husband, it is impossible to 
give them up." At these words the Tsar struck 
her in the face, saying : " Women have long hair, 
but short wits." When Polkan heard this he was 
enraged, opened the door, entered the room, 
seizing the Tsar by his head, flung him to the 
ground and killed him. 



Polkan now looked down into the courtyard and 
perceived that it was filled with Marcobrun's 
soldiers; so, without more ado, he took Bova's 
battle sword and slew ten thousand men, drove 
all the rest out of the city, closed the gates, and 
barred them fast, after which he returned into the 
castle, awakened Bova Korolevich, and told him all 
that had happened. Bova embraced him and thanked 
him for his faithful service ; thereupon they armed 
themselves, and rode out of the city against Marco- 
brun's army. Bova took the right side and Polkan 
the left, and they overthrew the whole army, and 
set free the children of the Tsar Uril. King Marco- 
brun fled into the Sadonic kingdom, and bound 
himself, his children, and his grandchildren with 
an oath never to pursue Bova. 

Bova and Polkan now returned with Unl's sons 
to the city of Kostel ; and when they arrived at 
the castle Bova said to the Tsarina : " Here are 
your children, Lady!" The remains of the army 
he made swear allegiance to Unl's sons, and left 
them to govern as before. 

Then Bova rode with the knight Polkan and the 
fair Drushnevna to the city of Sumin, to his attend- 
ant Simbalda, in order to raise a small army to 
march against King Dadon and expel him from 
the city of Anton. They rode a long time, and at 


length halted in a meadow, and pitched their white 
tent to rest. Drushnevna had two sons born here, 
and Bova named one Litcharda and the other 

One day, as Bova was walking with Polkan 
around his tent, they beheld in the distance a thick 
cloud of dust ; then said Bova to Polkan : " Hasten 
and see whether an army is advancing, or a bold 
knight comes riding this way, or a merchant's 
caravan is on the road." When Polkan heard this 
request, he rode forth and presently brought back 
some warriors bound. And Bova asked : " Tell 
me, you warriors, freely and without resistance, 
what power comes yonder, and from what country, 
who is your King, and wherefore are you sent out?" 
The soldiers answered : " Brave Knight, we are 
sent with a great army by King Dadon to the king- 
dom of Armenia to demand the stepson of our 
King who ran away in his youth, to be given up 
by the Tsar Sensibri Andronovich ; his name is 

" Face about, and tell the commander of your 
army not to march into the Armenian kingdom, 
but await me on the spot where you meet him. 
I am Bova Korolevich, and will soon follow you to 
inspect your army." 

So saying, Bova dismissed the prisoners, and 


said to Polkan : " Comrade, I will now ride out to 
fight with Dadon's army which is sent against me : 
I pray you to remain near my white tent to protect 
my wife against enemies and wild beasts ; but tell 
her not that I am gone out to battle ; for I shall 
soon return to reward your faithful service, and if 
need be, to lay down my life for you." So saying he 
took leave of Polkan, mounted his steed, and rode 
with all haste against Dadon's army ; and he 
speedily laid about him right and left, and slew 
them until the few who survived fell on their knees 
and begged for mercy. 

Whilst Bova was thus engaged, and Drushnevna 
was sitting in the tent, two huge lions rushed out 
of the forest and flew at Polkan to tear him to pieces. 
Polkan attacked them bravely, and slew one with 
a single stroke ; but the other lion he could not 
overcome so easily, and after a long fight Polkan 
and the lion at last both fell dead. Shortly after 
Drushnevna went out of the tent, and when she 
saw the dead bodies of Polkan and the lions she 
thought that Bova must also have been killed by 
these wild beasts. So she took her two sons, 
mounted her palfrey, which was tied up to the 
tent, and rode away from that fearful spot as fast 
as she could. 

When Drushnevna arrived at the city of the 


Tsar Saltan, she dismounted and turned her palfrey 
loose in the fields, saying : " Go your way, rove 
where you will, my trusty nag, until you find a 
good master!" Then she went to a brook, washed 
herself with the black powder, and became on a 
sudden dark-coloured and haggard ; and thus 
she went her way to the city. 

After Bova Korolevich had destroyed King 
Dadon's army, he returned to the place where he had 
left his wife and Polkan, to take them with him to 
the city of Sumin. When he came to his tent, what 
was his horror at beholding the dead bodies of Polkan 
and the lions; and, not finding either Drushnevna 
or her children in the tent, he imagined that the 
lions had killed both Polkan and his wife. Then 
sorrow struck Bova to the heart, and after weep- 
ing long and bitterly upon that fatal spot, he rode 
off alone to his faithful attendant Simbalda. 

When Bova arrived at the city of Sumin he was 
received with great honour by Simbalda; and he 
speedily ordered an army to be assembled, took 
with him Tervis, the son of Simbalda, and marched 
against the city of Anton. 

At this time King Dadon was living in his city, 

without care or trouble, and awaiting from hour 

to hour the surrender of Bova by King Sensibri, 

little dreaming that the army he had sent to fetch 



him had been destroyed. On a sudden messengers 
came running to him to announce that Bova Koro- 
levich was besieging the city of Anton on all sides. 
When King Dadon heard this, he instantly com- 
manded his whole army to be assembled ; and he 
collected above thrice one hundred thousand men, 
and marched out to battle. But Bova did not wish 
to shed blood needlessly, and ordered all his 
warriors not to stir from the spot. Then he looked 
steadfastly at Dadon, rode at him full gallop, 
and struck him a sword-blow on the head which, 
though a light one, cleft his skull, and Dadon fell 
dead from his horse. Bova ordered the body to be 
taken up and borne into the city of Anton that 
Queen Militrisa should herself behold his end. 
Meanwhile he went to his father's grave and wept 
over it, and then returned to the city of Sumin. 

When Dadon's body was brought before Militrisa, 
she fell to weeping bitterly ; and, as she washed 
the blood off with her tears, she perceived that he 
was still living. Instantly she sent her faithful 
servants into all the kingdoms round about to fetch 
a doctor for King Dadon, promising to reward him 

Bova, on learning that Dadon was still alive, 
and had sent to seek a doctor, resolved to go him- 
self to the city of Anton, disguised as a physician, 


and to kill King Dadon. Thereupon he washed 
himself with the black powder, and was instantly 
changed into an old man, dressed himself like a 
doctor, and took with him Tervis and a sharp 
sword. On reaching the city, Bova sent word to 
King Dadon that some physicians had come from 
a foreign country to cure his wounds. When the 
King heard this he instantly commanded the 
strangers to be brought before him, and promised 
that if they healed his wounds they should be 
richly rewarded. Then Bova Korolevich bowed 
himself, and said that he would speedily cure the 
King ; but that all the bystanders must go away, 
and leave the King alone with him. Dadon in- 
stantly assented ; and as soon as they were alone, 
Bova seized him by his beard, drew the sword 
from under his cloak, and exclaimed : " Villain, 
take the reward for letting yourself be seduced by 
the beauty of Queen Militrisa treacherously to 
murder my father." 

So saying, Bova struck off King Dadon's head, 
laid it upon a silver dish, covered it with a white 
cloth, and went to his mother Militrisa. When he 
entered her chamber he said to her : " My gracious 
Mother, I am come to inform you that your be- 
loved husband Dadon is quite recovered from his 
wounds, and has sent us to announce the glad 


tidings to you with this present." Thereupon he 
gave into her hands the dish, with King Dadon's 
head upon it. When Miltrisa raised the cloth and 
beheld the head, she was so horror-struck that for 
some time she could not utter a word ; at length 
she fell to tearing her hair and clothes, and took 
an oath to kill Bova Korolevich for slaying Dadon 
and having called himself her son. 

Then Bova took some water, washed himself 
with the white powder, and in an instant was young 
and handsome as ever. Miltrisa at once knew him, 
fell at his feet, and began to beg for pardon. But 
Bova ordered Tervis to take her and nail her up 
in a cask, and roll her into the sea. Then he called 
together the princes and boyars and announced to 
them that he was Bova Korolevich, the rightful 
heir to the throne of his father Guidon, returned 
from foreign lands, and required of them the oath 
of allegiance. Immediately all the princes, boyars 
and others swore fidelity to Bova, and wished him 
a happy accession to the throne ; after which the 
King ordered feasts and rejoicings to be made for 
a whole month. 

After the feasts Bova sent an ambassador with 

presents to Saltan, to demand his daughter, Mili- 

heria in marriage, as he believed Drushnevna to 

have been torn to pieces by the lions. Then Saltan 

113 i 


sent for his daughter and said : " My dear child, 
I have just received a letter from the knight whom 
you shut up in prison and endeavoured to convert 
to our faith. He is a King's son, and rules over his 
own kingdom : he has sent me presents, and sues 
for your hand. Tell me now whether you will give 
your consent." 

" On hearing this the Princess Miliheria was glad 
at heart, and said that she was ready in all things 
to obey her father's will. The same day Sal tan 
received presents from the ambassador, and forth- 
with ordered everything to be prepared for the 

Whilst all this was passing, the Queen Drush- 
nevna was living in the same city, and washed linen 
for her livelihood. And thus she maintained her 
two sons, who grew not from day to day, but from 
hour to hour, and surpassed all other children in 
beauty. She had no thought that Bova Korolevich 
was still alive ; but when by chance she heard 
that an ambassador had been sent by him to the 
Tsar Saltan to demand the hand of his daughter, 
and that Saltan had consented to the match, she 
took with her her two sons, and went into the city 
of Anton where he ruled, travelling slowly and 
with great fatigue. At length she arrived, the very 
same day that Bova was to be married to Miliheria. 


Then she washed herself with the white powder, 
and was as beautiful as ever ; and she sent her 
sons to the castle to present themselves to Bova 
Korolevich, and inform him of their condition and 

Litcharda and Simbalda (so the boys were named) 
stationed themselves in the passage through which 
Bova had to pass with his princes and boyars on 
his way to dinner. And as he was entering his 
apartment, his eye fell upon the lads, and he asked 
who they were, and for whom they were waiting. 
Then the elder son made his obeisance and said : 
" We are, O King, the children of the most re- 
nowned knight and hero in the wide world, Bova 
Korolevich, and the fair Queen Drushnevna ; 
our beloved father left us when very young in the 
open country under a tent, with our mother and 
the knight Polkan, who was killed by lions. But 
we fled from the spot, with our mother, and have 
ever since been wandering about in various countries 
in search of our father." 

Then Bova Korolevich embraced them tenderly, 
exclaiming : " My sons, my sons I I am your 
father, and little had I hoped to have ever seen you 
again alive. But where is my beloved wife, your 

Then Litcharda told him where they had left 


Drushnevna ; and Bova instantly sent some of his 
boyars to conduct her to the castle. 

When Bova beheld her again he was overjoyed ; 
and, for such unexpected happiness, he ordered 
the feasting to be doubled, and the taxes to be 
remitted to his subjects for the two whole months. 
His faithful servant Simbalda he rewarded with 
many towns ; and to his son Tervis he gave the 
fair Miliheria Saltanovna; then he sent them to 
her father, bidding him to love and honour his 
new r son-in-law, and adding, that it had been 
impossible for him to marry her after the return 
of his wife Drushnevna. 

Then Bova sent Simbalda's brother Ohen with 
an army into the Armenian kingdom to win it from 
Orlop, whom he ordered to be put to death. Bova 
gave the Armenian kingdom to Ohen and his 
successors; but he himself remained in the city 
of Anton, and ruled happily. 



r I ^HERE lived once upon a time, in great 
poverty, a countryman and his wife : he 
was mild as a calf, and she as cunning as a 
serpent. She abused and drubbed her husband for 
every trifle. One day she begged some corn of a 
neighbour to make a loaf of bread, and she sent 
her husband with it to the mill to have it ground. 
The miller ground the corn, but charged them 
nothing on account of their poverty ; and the 
countryman set out on his return home with his 
pan full of flour. But on a sudden there arose such 
a strong wind that in the twinkle of an eye all the 
flour was blown out of the pan, which he carried 
on his head. So he went home and told his wife ; 
and when she heard it she fell to scolding and 
beating him without mercy; and she threatened 
him on and on, until at length she grew tired; 
then she ordered him to go to the wind which had 
blown away the flour and get paid for it, either in 
money or in as much flour as there had been in the 

The poor countryman, whose bones ached with 


the blows he had received from his wife, went out 
of the house weeping and wringing his hands; 
but whither to turn his steps he knew not. And at 
last he came to a large and dark forest, in which 
he wandered here and there. At last an old woman 
met him and said: " My good man, where are 
you going, and how are you going to find your 
way? What has brought you into this country, 
where rarely a bird flies, and rarely does a beast 

" Good Mother," replied the man, " force has 
driven me hither. I went to the mill with some 
corn, and when it was ground I shook the flour 
into a pan and went my way home; but suddenly 
a wind arose and carried off the flour out of the 
pan; and when I came without it to the house and 
told my wife, she beat me, and has sent me to seek 
the Wind, and ask him either to give me back the 
meal or to pay me for it in money. So now I go 
here and there to look for the Wind, and know not 
where to find it." 

" Follow me," said the old woman : " I am the 
mother of the Winds, and have four sons; the 
first son is the East Wind, the second is the South 
Wind, the third is the West Wind, and the fourth 
the North Wind. Tell me, now, which Wind it is 
that has blown away your meal?" 


" The South Wind, Mother dear/* answered 
the countryman. 

Then the old woman led the man deeper into 
the forest, and came to a little hut, and said : " Here 
I live, master woodman; creep on to the stove, 
and wrap yourself up; my children will soon be 

" But why should I wrap myself up?*' said the 

" Because my son the North Wind is very cold, 
and you would be frozen," said the old woman. 

Not long after, the old woman's sons began to 
assemble; and when at length the South Wind 
came, the old woman called the countryman from 
the stove and said to her sons : " South Wind, 
my dear son, a complaint is brought against you; 
why do you injure poor folks? You have blown 
away this man's flour from out of his dish ; pay 
him now for it with money, or how you will." 

" Very well, Mother," replied the Wind, " I 
will pay him for his flour." Then he called the 
countryman and said : " Hark ye, my little farmer, 
take this basket; it contains everything you can 
wish for money, bread, all kinds of food and 
drink; you have only to say: " Basket, give me 
this and that,' and it will instantly give you all you 
desire. Go home now you have here payment 


for your flour." So the countryman made his bow 
to the South Wind, thanked him for the basket, 
and went his way home. 

When the man came home, he gave the basket 
to his wife, saying : " Here, wife, is a basket for 
you, which contains everything you can wish for - 
only ask it." So the good woman took the basket, 
and said : " Basket, give me good flour for bread!" 
And instantly the basket gave her as much as ever 
she could desire. Then she asked again for this 
thing and that, and the basket gave her everything 
in the twinkling of an eye. 

A few days after, it happened that a nobleman 
passed by the countryman's cottage ; and when 
the good woman saw him, she said to her husband ; 
" Go and invite this lord to be our guest; if you 
don't bring him here, I will beat you half dead." 

The countryman dreaded a beating from his 
wife. So he went and invited the nobleman to 
dinner. Meanwhile the good woman took all kinds 
of food and drink out of the basket, spread the 
table, and then sat down patiently at the window, 
laying her hands in her lap, awaiting the arrival 
of her husband and their guest. The nobleman 
was astonished at receiving such an invitation and 
laughed, and would not go home with the man ; 
but instead, he ordered his servants who attended 


him to go with the countryman, to dinner, and 
bring him back word how he treated them. So 
the servants went with the countryman, and when 
they entered his cottage, they were greatly amazed : 
for, to judge by his hut, he must be very poor, but 
from the dishes upon the table he was evidently 
a person of some consequence. Then they sat 
down to dinner, and made merry; but they re- 
marked that, whenever the good woman wanted 
anything, she asked the basket for it, and obtained 
all she required. So they did not leave the room 
at once, and sent one of their comrades home to 
make as quickly as possible just such another 
basket and bring it to them, without letting the 
countryman or his wife observe it. 

Thereupon the man ran as fast as he could, and 
got a basket just like the other; and when he 
brought it to the cottage, the guests secretly took 
the countryman's basket and put theirs in its place. 
Then they took leave of the man and his wife, and 
returned to their master and told him how daintily 
the countryman had treated them. 

The countryman's wife threw away all the food 
that was left, intending to cook fresh on the morrow. 
The next morning she went to her basket and 
began to ask it for what she wanted ; and when she 
found that the basket gave her nothing, she called 


her husband and said : " Old Greybeard, what 
basket is this you have brought me? Likely enough 
it has served us once and for all; and what good 
is it now if it gives us nothing more? Go back to 
the Wind and beg him to give us back our flour, 
or I'll beat you to death." 

So the poor man went back to the Winds. When 
he came to the old woman, their mother, he fell 
to complaining of his wife. The old woman told 
him to wait for her son, who would soon come 

Not long after came the South Wind, and the 
countryman began to complain of his wife. Then 
the Wind answered : " I am sorry, old man, that 
you have such a wicked wife; but I will assist 
you, and she shall not beat you any more. Take 
this cask, and when you get home and your wife 
is going to beat you, place yourself behind the 
cask and cry : ' Five ! out of the cask and thrash 
my wife!' and when they have given her a good 
beating, then say : * Five! back to the cask!' ! 
Then the peasant made a low bow to the Wind, 
and went his way. 

When he came home he said: " There, I have 
brought you here a cask instead of the basket." 

At this the good woman flew into a rage and said : 
" A cask, indeed ! What shall I do with it? Why 


have you brought back no flour?" And, so saying, 
she seized the poker, and was going to beat her 
husband. But the poor man stepped quietly be- 
hind the cask and cried : " Five ! out of the cask ! 
Thrash my wife instantly!" In a moment five 
stout young fellows jumped out of the cask and 
fell to cudgelling the woman. And when her hus- 
band saw that she was beaten enough, and she 
begged for mercy, he cried: " Five! back to the 
cask!" Then instantly they stopped beating her, 
and crept back into the cask. 

The countryman thought over his loss and decided 
to go forthwith to the nobleman and challenge 
him to fight. The nobleman laughed outright at 
the folly of the man; nevertheless he would not 
refuse, as he wished to have some sport ; so he 
told the man to go into the field. So he tucked his 
cask under his arm, betook himself to the field, 
and waited for the nobleman, who came riding 
to meet him with a number of attendants; and, 
when he drew near, he ordered his servants, for a 
joke, to thrash the peasant soundly. The man saw 
that they were mocking him, and he was wroth 
with the nobleman, and said: "Come, Sir! give 
me my basket back this instant, or it shall fare ill 
with you all, I promise!" Nevertheless they did 
not stop beating, so he cried out : " Out, Five 


to each! thrash them soundly!" Immediately 
five stout fellows sprang out of the cask upon 
every man of them and began to beat them un- 
mercifully. Then the nobleman thought that they 
would kill him, and roared out with might and 
main : " Stop, stop, my good friend and hear 
me!" So the countryman, upon this, cried: 
" Hold! you fellows! back to the cask!" Then 
they all stopped beating, and crept back into the 
cask again. And straightway s the nobleman 
ordered his servants to fetch the basket and give 
it to the countryman, who took it and hied back 
home, and lived ever after with his wife in peace 
and harmony. 



ONCE upon a time there lived an old man 
named Abrosim, with his old wife Fetinia : 
they were in great poverty and want, and 
had a son named Ivanushka, who was fifteen years 
of age. One day the old man Abrosim brought 
home a crust of bread for his wife and son to eat; 
but hardly had he begun to cut the bread than 
Krutchina (Sorrow) sprang from behind the stove, 
snatched the crust out of his hands and ran back. 
At this the old man bowed low to Krutchina, and 
begged her to give him back the bread as he and 
his wife had nothing to eat. Old Krutchina 
answered : i ' I will not give you back the bread ; 
but I will give you instead a duck, which lays a 
golden egg every day." 

" Well and good," said Abrosim; " at all events 
I shall go to bed without a supper to-night ; only 
do not deceive me, and tell me where I shall find 
the duck." 

" Early in the morning, as soon as you are up," 
replied Krutchina, " go into the town and there 
you will see a duck in a pond; catch it and bring 


it home with you." When Abrosira heard this, hr 
laid himself down to sleep. 

Next morning the old man rose early, went to 
the town, and was overjoyed when he really saw 
a duck in the pond : so he began to call it, and 
soon caught it, took it home with him, and gave 
it to Fetinia. The old wife handled the duck and 
said she was going to lay an egg. They were now 
both in great delight, and, putting the duck in a 
bowl, they covered it with a sieve. After waiting 
an hour, they peeped gently under the sieve and 
saw to their joy that the duck had laid a golden 
egg. Then they let her run about a little on the 
floor ; and the old man took the egg to town to 
sell it; and he sold the egg for a hundred roubles, 
took the money, went to market, bought all kinds 
of vegetables, and returned home. 

The next day the duck laid another egg, and 
Abrosim sold this also; and in this way the duck 
went on, laying a golden egg every day, and the 
old man in a short time grew very rich. Then he 
built himself a grand house, and a great number of 
shops, and bought wares of all sorts, and set up in 

Now, Fetinia had struck up a secret friendship 
with a young shopman, who did not care for the 
old woman, but persuaded her he did to make her 


give him money. And one day, when Abrosim was 
gone out to buy some new wares, the shopman 
called to gossip with Fetinia, when by chance he 
espied the duck; and, taking her up, he saw 
written under her wing in golden letters : " Whoso 
eats this duck will become a Tsar." The man said 
nothing of this to Fetinia, but begged and entreated 
her for love's sake to roast the duck. Fetinia told 
him she could not kill the duck, for all their good 
luck depended upon her. Still the shopman 
entreated the old woman only the more urgently 
to kill and cook the duck ; until at length, over- 
come by his soft words and entreaties, Fetinia 
consented, killed the duck and popped her into the 
stove. Then the shopman took his leave, promising 
soon to come back and Fetinia also went into the 

Just at this time Ivanushka returned home, and 
being very hungry, he looked about everywhere 
for something to eat; when by good luck he espied 
in the stove the roast duck ; so he took her out, ate 
her to the very bones, and then returned to his 
work. Presently after, the shopman came in, and 
calling Fetinia, begged her to take out the roast 
duck. Fetinia ran to the oven, and when she saw 
that the duck was no longer there she was in ft 
great fright, and told the shopman that the duck 


had vanished. Thereat the man was angry with 
her, and said : "I'll answer for it you have eaten 
the duck yourself!" And so saying he left the 
house in a pet. 

At night Abrosim and his son Ivanushka came 
home, and, looking in vain for the duck, he asked 
his wife what had become of her. Fetinia replied 
that she knew nothing of the duck ; but Ivanushka 
said : " My father and benefactor, when I came 
home to dinner, my mother was not there; so, 
looking into the oven, and seeing a roast duck, I 
took it out and ate it up ; but, indeed, I know not 
whether it was our duck or a strange one." 

Then Abrosim flew into a rage with his wife, 
and beat her till she was half -dead, and hunted 
his son out of the house. 

Little Ivan betook himself to the road, and 
walked on and on, following the way his eyes led 
him. And he journeyed for ten days and ten nights, 
until at length he came to a great city; and as he 
was entering the gates, he saw a crowd of people 
assembled, holding a moot; for their Tsar was 
dead, and they did not know whom to choose to 
rule over them. Then they agreed that whoever 
first passed through the city gates should be elected 

Now just at this time it happened that Little 


Ivan came through the city gates, whereupon all 
the people cried with one voice : " Here comes 
our Tsar!" and the Elders of the people took 
Ivanushka by the arms, and brought him into the 
royal apartments, clad him in the Tsar's robes, 
seated him on the Tsar's throne, made their 
obeisance to him as their sovereign Tsar, and 
waited to receive his commands. Ivanushka fancied 
it was all a dream ; but when he collected himself, 
he saw that he was in reality a Tsar. Then he 
rejoiced with his whole heart, and began to rule 
over the people, and appointed various officers. 
Amongst others he chose one named Luga, and 
calling him, spoke as follows: "My faithful 
servant and brave knight Luga, render me one 
service ; travel to my native country, go straight 
to the King, greet him for me, and beg of him to 
deliver up to me the merchant Abrosim and his 
wife; if he gives them up, bring them hither; but 
if he refuses, threaten him that I will lay waste his 
kingdom with fire and sword, and make him 

When the servant Luga arrived at Ivanushka 's 
native country he went to the Tsar, and asked him 
to give up Abrosim and Fetinia. The Tsar knew 
that Abrosim was a rich merchant living in his 
city, and was not willing to let him go ; nevertheless, 
129 K 


when he reflected that Ivanushka's kingdom 
was a large and powerful one, fearing to offend 
him, he handed over Abrosim and Fetinia. And 
Luga received them from the Tsar, and returned 
with them to his own kingdom. When he brought 
them before Ivanushka, the Tsar said : " True 
it is, my father, you drove me from your home; I 
therefore now receive you into mine : live with me 
happily, you and my mother, to the end of your 

Abrosim and Fetinia were overjoyed that their 
son had become a great Tsar, and they lived with 
him many years, and then died. Ivanushka sat 
upon the throne for thirty years, in health and 
happiness, and his subjects loved him truly to the 
last hour of his life. 



r I ^HERE was once upon a time a Tsar named 
Chodor, who had an only son, Ivan Tsare- 
vich. Chodor gave him in his youth various 
masters to teach him the different knightly exer- 
cises ; and when Ivan was grown up, he begged 
leave of his father to travel in other countries, in 
order to see the world. Tsar Chodor consented, 
and bade him show his skill and valour in foreign 
lands, and bring renown on his father. 

Then Ivan Tsarevich went into the royal stables 
to choose a good steed; and he thought that if he 
could find one on whose back he could lay his hand, 
without the horse's going on his knees, it would 
be just the one to suit him. So he looked in all the 
stalls, but found no horse to his mind, and he went 
his way with a heavy heart. Then he took his cross- 
bow and arrows and roved about in the open fields 
to drive away his sadness. As he was walking thus 
along, he saw high in the air a swan, and he drew 
his bow and shot; but he missed the swan, and 
his arrow vanished from his sight. Then Ivan was 
sad at losing a favourite arrow, and with tears in 


his eyes he sought for it the whole field over. At 
last he came to a little hill, and heard a man's voice 
calling to him: " Come hither, Ivan Tsarevich ! " 
Ivan wondered to himself not a little at hearing a 
voice and seeing no one. But the voice called 
again ; and Ivan went toward the spot whence it 
came, and remarked in the hill a little window, 
with an iron lattice ; and at the window he saw 
a man, who beckoned to him with the hand. Ivan 
came up, and the man said to him : " Why are you 
so sad, my good lad, Ivan Tsarevich?" 

"How can I help grieving?" replied Ivan; 
" I have lost my favourite arrow, and can find it 
nowhere, and my sorrow is the greater because I 
can not discover a steed to please me." 

" That is no great matter to grieve for," said 
the man ; " I will get you a good horse, and give 
you back your arrow since it flew down to me 
here; but what will you give me for it?" 

" Anything you ask," replied Ivan, " if you will 
give me what you promise." 

" Nay, said the man, " I want nothing more than 
that you will free me from this place." 

" And how and by whom were you caged up 

" Your father imprisoned me here," replied the 
man. " I was a famous robber, and was called Bulat 


the Brave Companion. He was enraged against 
me, and ordered me to be taken and imprisoned ; 
and here I have been confined for three-and- 
thirty years." 

" Hark ye, Bulat, brave Companion," said Ivan, 
" I cannot set you free without my father's con- 
sent ; were he to hear of it he would be wroth." 

" Fear not," replied Bulat; "your father will 
hear nothing; for as soon as you set me at liberty 
I shall go into other lands and not live here." 

" Well then," said Ivan Tsarevich, " I consent, 
only on condition that you give me back my arrow 
and tell me where I can find a trusty steed." 

" Go into the open fields," said Bulat the Brave 
Companion, " and there you will see three green 
oaks; and, on the ground under these oaks, an 
iron door, with a copper ring. Under the door is a 
stable, in which stands a good steed, shut in by 
twelve iron doors with twelve steel locks. Heave 
up this door, strike off the twelve steel locks, and 
open the twelve doors ; there you will find a horse ; 
mount him and come to me ; I will give you back 
your arrow, and then you will let me out of this 

When Ivan Tsarevich heard this he went into 
the open fields, saw the three green oaks, and found 
the iron door with the copper ring. So he hove up 


the door, knocked off the twelve locks, and opened 
the twelve doors, and entered a stable, where he 
beheld a knightly steed and a suit of armour. 
Then Ivan Tsarevich laid his hand upon the 
horse, and the horse fell not upon his knees, but 
merely bent himself a little. And as soon as the 
horse saw a knight standing before him, he neighed 
loudly, and let Ivan saddle and bridle him. Ivan 
Tsarevich took the steed, the battle-axe, and sword, 
led the horse out of the stable, leaped into the 
Tcherkess saddle, and took the silken bridle in his 
white hand. Then Ivan wished to try his steed, 
and struck him on the flank : the horse chafed his 
bit, and rose from the ground, and away he went 
over the tall forests and under the flying clouds, 
left hill and dale beneath his feet, covered small 
streams with his tail, bounded over wide rivers 
and marshes ; and so at last Ivan came to Bulat 
the Brave Companion, and said with a loud voice : 
*' Now give me back my arrow, Bulat my brave 
fellow, and I will let you out of your cage." So 
Bulat instantly gave him back his arrow, and Ivan 
set him free. 

" I thank you, Ivan Tsarevich," said Bulat, 
" for giving me freedom. I will, in return, render 
you good service; whenever you are in any diffi- 
culty, and want me, only say : ' Where is my 


Bulat, the Brave Companion?' and I will instantly 
come to you and serve you faithfully in your need." 
So saying, Bulat cried with a loud voice : 

"Sivka Burka! he! 

Fox of Spring ! Appear ! 
Like a grass blade, here 
Stand before me!" 

Instantly a steed stood before Bulat the Brave, 
who crept into his ear, ate and drank his fill, and 
then crept out at the other ear ; and he became 
such a handsome youth as no one can imagine, no 
pen can describe, nor story tell. Then Bulat 
mounted his horse and galloped off, exclaiming : 
" Farewell, then, for the present, Ivan Tsare- 

Ivan now mounted his good steed and rode to 
his father, and with tears in his eyes, took leave of 
him; then, taking with him his squire, he rode 
forth into foreign lands. And after they had ridden 
for some time they came to a wood ; the day was 
bright and hot, and Ivan Tsarevich grew thirsty. 
So they wandered all about the wood, seeking 
water, but could find none. At length they found 
a deep well, in which there was some water; and 
Ivan said to his squire : * ' Go down the well and 


fetch me up some water ; I will hold you by a rope to 
prevent you being drowned." 

" Nay, Ivan Tsarevich," said the squire, " I 
am heavier than you, and you cannot hold me 
up; you had better descend, for I can support 

So Ivan followed his squire's advice, and let 
himself down into the well. And when Ivan had 
drunk enough, he told the squire to draw him up; 
but the squire answered : " Nay, I will not draw 
you out until you give me your word in writing 
that you are my servant and I am your master, 
and that my name is Ivan Tsarevich ; if you refuse 
this I will drown you in the well." 

" My dear squire," cried Ivan, " do not drown 
me, but draw me up, and I will do all you desire." 
" No, I don't believe you," said the squire; " swear 
me an oath." So Ivan swore that he would be 

Thereupon the squire drew him out, and Ivan 
Tsarevich took a piece of paper, wrote the writing, 
and gave it to the squire. Then he took off his own 
cloak, and exchanged it for the squire's, and they 
went on their way. After some days they came to 
the kingdom of the Tsar Panthui. And when the 
Tsar heard of the arrival of Ivan Tsarevich he 
Went out to meet him ; and, greeting the false 


Tsarevich, he took him by the white hands, con- 
ducted him into his marble halls, seated him at his 
oaken table, and they feasted and made merry. 
Then Tsar Panthui asked the false Tsarevich what 
had brought him to his kingdom, and he answered : 
" My gracious lord, I am come to sue for the hand 
of your daughter, the fair Princess Tseria." 

" Gladly will I give you my daughter to wife," 
replied Panthui. 

In the course of their talk the false Ivan said to 
the Tsar Panthui : " Let my servant, I pray, do 
the lowest work in the kitchen, for he has greatly 
annoyed me on my journey." So the Tsar immedi- 
ately commanded Ivan to be set to do the most 
menial work, whilst his squire feasted and made 
merry with the Tsar. 

A few days after this an army was seen marching 
against the kingdom of Panthui, threatening to lay 
it waste and take the Tsar prisoner. Thereupon 
Panthui called the false Ivan and said : " My dear 
future son-in-law, a hostile army has come to attack 
my dominions : drive the enemy back and I will 
give you my daughter, but only on this condition." 
And the squire answered; " Well and good, I will 
do as you desire ; but only by night in the day I 
have no luck in fight." 

As soon as night drew on and everyone in the 


castle had gone to rest, the false Ivan went out 
into the open court, called to him the true Tsare- 
yich, and said : " Ivan Tsarevich, be not angry 
with me for taking your place ; forget it all, do me 
one service, and drive the enemy from this king- 
dom." And Ivan answered : " Go and lie down 
to sleep all shall be accomplished." Then the 
squire went and lay down to sleep, and Ivan cried 
with a loud voice : " Where is my Bulat, the 
Brave Companion?" In an instant Bulat stood 
before him, and asked : " What service do you 
require now ? What is your need ? Tell me forth- 
with." Then Ivan Tsarevich told him his need, 
and Bulat desired him to saddle his horse and put 
on his armour ; and then cried with a loud voice : 

" Sivka Burka! he! 

Fox of Spring ! Appear ! 
Like a grass blade, here 
Stand before me!" 

The Horse bounded till the ground shook ; 
from his ears rose a column of steam, and from his 
nostrils issued flames; but when he came up to 
Bulat he stood still. Then Bulat the Brave Com- 
panion mounted the horse, and Ivan Tsarevich 
tea ted himself upon his steed, and so they rode 


forth from the courtyard. Meanwhile the Princess 
Tseria, who was not yet asleep, was sitting at the 
window, and overheard all that Ivan Tsarevich 
had spoken with the squire and Bulat the Brave Com- 

As soon as they reached the hostile army, Bulat 
said to Ivan: "Fall thou upon the enemy on 
the right, I will attack them on the left.'* And so 
they began to mow down this mighty army with 
the sword, and to trample them down with their 
horses' hoofs; and in an hour's time they had 
stretched on the earth a hundred thousand men. 
Then the hostile King fled with the small remains 
of his army back into his own kingdom, and Ivan 
Tsarevich returned with Bulat the Brave Com- 
panion to the castle of the Tsar Panthui, unsaddled 
his steed, led him into the stable, and gave him 
white wheat to eat. After that he took leave of 
Bulat the Brave Companion, went back into the 
kitchen, and lay down to sleep. 

Early the next morning the Tsar went out on 
to his balcony, and looked forth over the country 
where the hostile army lay; and when he saw that 
it was all cut down and destroyed, he called to him 
the false Ivan, and thanked him for having saved 
his kingdom ; he rewarded him with a rich present 
and promised soon to give him his daughter to wife. 


After a fortnight the same Tsar marched again 
with a fresh army and besieged the city. And the 
Tsar Panthui in terror called again upon the false 
Ivan and said : "My dear friend, Ivan Tsarevich, 
save me once more from the enemy, and drive 
them from my kingdom, and I will immediately 
give you my daughter to wife." And so it all fell 
out again exactly as before, and the enemy were 
quite driven away by Ivan and Bulat the Brave. 

The hostile King, however, soon returned to 
attack Tsar Panthui a third time, and over and 
over again he was driven back, until at last he was 
himself killed. Then Ivan and Bulat the Brave 
Companion went back, unsaddled their steeds, 
and put them into the stable. Thereupon Bulat 
took leave of Ivan Tsarevich, and said: "You 
will never see me more." With this he mounted 
his horse and rode forth ; and Ivan went into the 
kitchen and lay down to sleep. 

Early the next morning the Tsar went again on 
to his balcony, and looked forth over the country 
where the hostile army had been ; and when he 
saw that it was all destroyed, he sent for his future 
son-in-law and said : " Now I will give you my 
daughter to wife." Then all the preparations were 
made for the wedding; and a few days after, the 
squire married the fair Princess Tseria; and when 


they had returned from church, and were sitting 
at table, Ivan Tsarevich begged the head cook to 
let him go into the banquet-hall and see his master 
and his bride seated at the table. So the cook 
consented, and gave him a change of dress. When 
Ivan entered the royal hall he stationed himself 
behind the other guests and gazed at his squire 
and the fair Tseria. But the Princess espied Ivan, 
and recognised him instantly ; then she jumped 
up from the table, took him by the hand, led him 
to the Tsar, and said : " This is the true bride- 
groom and the saviour of your kingdom, and not 
yon man who was betrothed to me." 

Then the Tsar Panthui asked his daughter what 
it all meant, and begged her to explain the mystery. 
And when the Princess Tseria had related to him 
all that had passed, Ivan Tsarevich was placed at 
the table beside her, and his squire was shot at 
the gate for his treacherous conduct. Ivan married 
the Princess, and returned with her to his father's 
kingdom. Tsar Chodor placed the crown upon his 
head, and Ivan mounted the throne, and ruled over 
the kingdom. 



IN a certain country, in the city of Anderika 
there lived a Tsar, a clever man, named Abra- 
ham Tuksalamovich, with his wife for thirty 
years in peace and happiness, but they had no child. 
At last Tsar Abraham Tuksalamovich prayed, 
with tears, that Heaven would give them a son ; 
their wish was fulfilled, and they had a brave little 
boy, whom they named Malandrach Abrahamovich. 
The little fellow grew, not by days but by hours ; 
as buck- wheat dough rises with yeast, so did the 
Tsarevich grow and grow. The Tsar had his son 
taught all kinds of arts; and when the boy came 
to mature years, he went to the Tsar and said : 
" My lord and father, you have instructed me in 
various arts, but there is one which I have not yet 

" My bold and dear son, Malandrach," said 
the Tsar, " tell me and let me know what art you 
desire to learn ; I will provide you careful teach- 
ers." And thereupon the Tsarevich answered : 
" My lord and father, yesterday I was reading a 
Swedish book, in which I found that there are 


people able to fly in the air with wings. I have now 
a great desire to learn this art, and I entreat you to 
procure me masters who may teach it me." 

The Tsar replied : "My bold child, it is im- 
possible that men should fly in the air; you must 
have been reading something silly, or a fairy tale; 
do not believe such stories. Nevertheless, I will 
send into all foreign lands to make search for any 
such people; and if they can be found I will order 
them to be brought hither, and have you instructed 
in their art." 

When the Tsar wants them, he does not wait 
for beer to be brewed nor brandy to be distilled ' ; 
so the Tsar instantly sent messengers into distant 
lands, commanding them to seek everywhere for 
flying men, and, if they found any, to bring them 
to his Court. So the messengers went forth into 
various countries, and after three years they found 
a master of the art in the city of Austripa, and 
brought him to the Tsar Abraham; and when 
Malandrach saw him he was overjoyed. Then the 
Tsar asked this person whether he understood the 
art of flying, and the man replied : " Gracious 
sovereign, although it is not for me to praise my- 
self, yet in truth I am the first master in our 
country. If your Majesty desire me to teach Prince 
Malandrach to fly in the air only command a large 


and lofty hall to be built, two hundred ells long 
and as many wide, and one hundred ells in height : 
this hall must be quite empty, have a great number 
of windows, and a little closet adjoining it." 

When the Tsar heard this, he instantly ordered 
such a palace to be built at once. And as soon as 
all was ready, the highflyer made two pairs of wings 
- one for himself and the other for Malandrach 
and he began to teach the Tsarevich to fly in 
this hall, fastening the wings on to himself and 
Malandrach ; and when he left off teaching, he 
laid the two pairs of wings in the closet, locked 
them up, and took the key with him. But one day 
it happened, when the Tsarevich had taken his 
lesson, and the master locked up the wings in the 
closet, that Malandrach observed this, and, without 
saying anything to his teacher, went with him to 
his father. 

Now, just at this time the Tsar had a great feast 
prepared, and a large number of guests were in- 
vited. Then Malandrach, without saying a word 
to anyone, hastened to the large hall, took his 
wings from the closet, fastened them on to his 
shoulders, went into the courtyard, and began to 
flap his wings. Thereupon he flew up on to the 
lofty building, alighted upon it, and resting there, 
gazed with delight over his father's kingdom. After 


awhile he wished to descend upon the ground, but 
suddenly a shudder came over him, and he dreaded 
to let himself down from such a height; and, 
instead of descending, he mounted higher and 
higher, until at length the earth appeared only 
like an apple, he had flown so high. 

Just then a strong wind arose, which carried 
Malandrach Tsarevich into an unknown country ; 
and his strength failed him, so that he could not 
manage his wings, and he began to fall. Then he 
beheld the wide sea beneath him, and was ex- 
ceedingly terrified ; but, collecting his remaining 
strength, he rose aloft again, and looked around 
on all four sides to see whether any shore was to 
be seen. At length he descried in the distance a 
small island; so he flew towards it, and alighting, 
he took off his wings and took them under his 
arms. Thereupon he set out rambling about the 
island in search of food, for he was sorely pinched 
by hunger ; and he found by chance a tree with 
sweet fruit upon it, of which he ate his fill. Then 
he lay down to sleep upon the grass, under a spread- 
ing tree, and slept there until daybreak. 

In the morning Malandrach arose and was about 

to fasten on his wings ; but his arms ached so 

much that he could not move them ; so he was 

obliged to stay there ten long days. On the eleventh 

145 L 


day, however, he fastened on the wings, blessed 
himself, mounted high into the air, and looked 
around on all sides to seek for his father's king- 
dom ; he could not, however, discover it, but 
toward evening he espied a shore, upon which was 
a thick forest ; so he alighted, took off his wings, 
and following a path, he came at last to the gates 
of a city. Then he concealed his wings under a 
bush, and going into the city, enquired for the 
market. And when they showed him the way, he 
went to it, and bought a long cloak. Then he re- 
turned to the forest, put his wings under his arm, 
and betook himself again to the city, where he met 
a man whom he asked : " Know you, friend, of any 
dwelling that is to be let?" The stranger replied : 
** You are doubtless a foreigner?" 

" As you say," replied the Tsarevich Malan- 
drach ; "I am a merchant from India, and have 
come hither in a ship with my wares. Our vessel 
was wrecked in a storm, and I was cast upon the 
shore of this kingdom upon a raft, to which I had 
made myself fast." 

" My friend," said the stranger, " if you like, 
come and live with me ; I will maintain you like 
my own son." So Malandrach willingly consented, 
and went home with the stranger, and lived in his 
house more than a month, never going outside the 


courtyard. His host, observing this, asked him : 
" Why do you never take a walk in the city and see 
the noble buildings and the old ruins?" Then 
Malandrach begged his host, whose name was 
Achron, to take a walk with him and show him the 
royal palace. So his host accompanied Malandrach 
about the city until evening, when they returned 
home and lay down to sleep. 

The next day Malandrach Tsarevich awoke 
betimes, rose from bed, dressed and washed him- 
self, said his prayers, and bowed to all four sides. 
And after breakfast he went alone to take a walk, 
till at length he came outside the city, and per- 
ceived an immense stone building, surrounded 
by a wall ; he walked round this wall, and could 
see no gate, but only a little door, which was 
locked fast. Prince Malandrach marvelled greatly 
at this enormous building, and returning home, 
asked his host what it was. The man replied that 
it was a royal building, in which lived the daughter 
of the Tsar, named Salikalla ; but the reason of her 
being shut up there he did not know. 

When Malandrach Tsarevich heard this he took 
his wings and went back the next day to the stone 
building. There he waited until evening, then 
fastened on his wings, flew over the wall into the 
garden, and alighted on a tree. As he sat 


perched upon the tree, he looked towards the 
window at which the Tsarevna Salikalla sat, which 
was far, far off. 

Soon she lay down to sleep, and Malandrach 
watched her ; and in an hour's time he flew in at 
the window, which was left open. He went gently 
up to the Tsarevna, and saw that she was asleep ; 
then he wished to awaken her with a kiss, but 
dared not. He stood gazing at her beauty and 
stayed there until near daybreak ; then hastened 
home, fearing to awaken the Princess. So he silently 
took leave of her, and left behind a sign by which 
she might perceive that someone had been there. 
The sign was this : he laid her shoes on the bed, 
and then flew out of the window, went home, and 
lay down to sleep. 

In the morning the Tsarevna awoke, and thought 
when she saw her shoes on the bed, that they had 
been laid there by her attendant, who slept in the 
adjoining room. Then she asked the servant, who 
replied that she had not done it, whereat the 
Princess wondered greatly. 

In the evening Prince Malandrach went again 
to the stone palace, fastened on his wings, flew 
through the window, and gazed once more with 
delight on the beauty of the Tsarevna. Before 
daybreak, when he was obliged to return home, 


he again took the shoes, laid them at the head 
board of the bed, then flew out of the window, 
went home, and lay down to sleep. 

When Salikalla awoke the next morning, and 
perceived the shoes again on the head board of her 
couch, she asked the servant whether she had laid 
them there. But the servant replied that she had 
not seen them ; whereat the Princess wondered 
still more than before ; and she resolved not to 
sleep the next night, but to watch who laid the 
shoes upon the couch. 

The Tsarevich Malandrach waited until evening, 
then took his wings under his arm and returned 
to the palace ; and when he thought that the Prin- 
cess was asleep, he bound on his wings and flew 
in at the window. But hardly had he approached 
the couch and attempted to kiss her than the 
Tsarevna suddenly seized him with both hands, 
and exclaimed : " Who art thou? How dost thou 
dare to come hither?" Prince Malandrach knew 
not what to answer for astonishment, and fell to 
entreating pardon of the Tsarevna. She would not, 
however, let him go, until by threats she had made 
him tell her who he was, and how he had come 
into the palace. Then he told her the whole truth, 
from beginning to end ; and the Tsarevna Salikalla 
was so pleased that she kissed his sugar lips, and 


begged him to remain, asking him to forgive her 
having been so rough and unkind. 

" O my best beloved and most beautiful Tsar- 
evna," replied Malandrach, " tell me truly, I pray, 
why art thou shut up alone in this palace without 
any living creature near you?" 

Then the Princess told him the story of her life. 
" When I was born," she said, " my father sum- 
moned all the wise men to him, and asked them 
how long I should live; and they told my parents 
that until my fifteenth year I should live happily, 
but that then some evil should befall me, upon 
hearing which my father ordered this house to be 
built, and when I was ten years old he placed me 
here for ten years, and this is the sixth year I am 
here. My mother visits me once a month, and my 
father once a quarter, and a servant is given to 
attend upon me. My mother will be here in a 
week's time ; tarry, dear Prince, meanwhile, and 
cheer my solitude." 

The Tsarevich Malandrach readily consented, 
and the time passed quickly in various amusements 
and conversation, and at last they took an oath to 
marry each other. For more than a year they lived 
together thus, only separating when the time came 
round for the visits of the Tsarevna's parents. 
One day the Princess saw her mother coming 


unexpectedly to the palace to visit her. Then she 
called to Malandrach and begged him instantly 
to depart ; but just at the moment when he had 
fastened on his wings and was flying out of the 
window the Tsarina observed him. Astonished at 
the sight, she asked her daughter what it meant, 
and pressed her so with entreaties and threats to 
tell her the truth, that Salikalla at last told her of 
the visit of Malandrach, and how he had come 
flying into her window. 

When the Tsarina heard this she went straight- 
way to the Tsar, and told him all that her daughter 
had related. Then the Tsar instantly sent a large 
body of men to seize Malandrach in the house of 
his host, and to bring him into his presence. And 
the soldiers went into the house where Malandrach 
lived, took him away and led him before the Tsar. 
Then the Tsar asked him whose son he was, from 
what country he had come, and what was his name. 
The Tsarevich replied, and told the plain truth, 
Thereupon the Tsar called his daughter Salikalla 
and said : " Tell me is this the same man who 
flew in through your window?" She answered 
that it was, and added that she loved him with her 
whole heart. Then the Tsar took his daughter by 
the hand and gave her to the Tsarevich Malan- 
drach, saying to him : " My dearest son-in-law, 


receive from my hand my only daughter for your 
wife, and live with her in happiness and love." 
And, as when the Tsar wants it, beer is not brewed 
nor brandy distilled, the wedding was celebrated 

So Malandrach married the beautiful Princess 
Salikalla ; and, after living with his father-in-law 
for half a year, he asked leave to go with his wife 
to his own father. Then the Tsar ordered a ship 
to be equipped and dismissed them with his bless- 
ing, and Malandrach sailed with his wife to his 
native country. When they arrived at the Court of 
his father, the Tsar Abraham was overjoyed at 
again seeing his beloved son, and asked him : 
" Where have you been this long while, and by 
what accident did you wander from my kingdom?" 
And Tsarevich Malandrach told his father the 
whole truth. 

Tsar Abraham Tuksalamovich was now very old 
so he placed the crown on the head of his 
beloved son, and soon after died, Malandrach 
Abrahamovich lived with his beloved wife Salikalla 
many years in harmony and love. 



THERE lived in a certain kingdom a re- 
nowned Prince, Mistafor Skurlatovich, who 
had a servant named Goria, the son of Knit- 
shinin. And Mistafor gave him a skilful master to 
teach him the art of shoemaking that he should 
become the best and most skilful of all workmen in 
that craft, Goria went on learning for several years, 
and became so clever that he made shoes even 
better than his master. Then Mistafor Skurla- 
tovich took him into his house and ordered him to 
make some shoes ; so he set to work and made 
twenty dozen pairs, but not a single pair of them 
satisfied Mistafor Skurlatovich. So he beat him 
unmercifully till the shoemaker, Goria Krutshinin, 
was half dead, and lay sick for ten long weeks. 

As soon as Goria began to recover, Mistafor 
Skurlatovich ordered him to make some more 
shoes. And when Goria had finished several pairs 
he took them to his master to try on; but not a 
single pair pleased him. Then Skurlatovich flung 
the shoes at his head, and beat him until his face 
was covered with blood. Goria Krutshinin, who 


had one poor copper altine in his pocket, went to 
spend it in a public-house by the road-side, and, as 
he sat down, he said to himself : "I wish the 
devil would free me from this master of mine !" 

Suddenly a stranger stood before him, and said : 
" Why are you in such a passion, my good lad?" 

" How can I help it?" replied Goria, the shoe- 
maker; " my master is as cruel as a mad dog; 
you see how he has dressed me down, and ten weeks 
ago he beat me even still more than now." 

" Why does he beat you so?" said the stranger. 
And Goria replied : "I have learnt the art of 
shoemaking better than my teacher, and I make 
shoes for my master, but though I work for him 
all I can, do what I will, I never can please him ; 
and instead of thanking me, he beats me as you 

Then the stranger said : "I know your master 
well enough ; you must be freed from his cruelty ; 
and, if you like, I will marry Mistafor's daughter 
to you instead of to the Prince to whom she is 

" Are you mad?" said Goria; " what nonsense 
are you talking?" " Trust me," replied the 
stranger, " I can bring it all about." But the shoe- 
maker could not believe him, and said : " You 
may talk and promise what you will, I do not 


believe a word." " Whether or no, you shall see 
that what I promise I can perform." 

So saying the stranger desired him to shut his 
eyes, throw himself on the ground facing the sun, 
and then retire two steps backwards. When Goria 
had done so, the stranger told him to look at him- 
self. Goria was amazed at seeing himself attired 
in a costly dress, and said : " Without doubt you 
must be the devil in man's form!" 

" Certainly I am a devilkin; you called me, and 
on your summons I came. I will serve you, and 
marry you to Mistafor's daughter." " How is that 
possible?" said Goria: " I am known down yonder 
by every one the very dogs know me." But the 
stranger replied : " Nay, it is not so. No one, I 
promise, will recognise you : every one will mis- 
take you for Prince Dardavan, to whom Mistafor's 
daughter Dogada is betrothed." 

" Good, very good," said Goria, " if what you 
say prove true." " It shall all come to pass as I 
have said," replied the other. And thereupon the 
stranger desired Goria to go three steps backward 
and shut his eyes, and then open them again. On 
a sudden Goria saw before him a splendid palace 
of white marble, and in amazement, he exclaimed : 
" You are in truth the devil himself, and no man, 
to do such marvellous things ! " 


" I tell the truth, you see, and do not deceive 
you," replied the stranger; " and now I make 
you a present of this marble palace, and will remain 
with you and serve you faithfully. Call me Pritu- 

Thereupon the servant conducted his new 
master Goria, the shoemaker, into the courtyard, 
where he beheld a great throng of servants, horses, 
and carriages, in the most splendid array; and the 
servants all made their obeisance to him, as to the 
Prince, and the musicians played on all sorts of 
instruments; and when the music ceased, Goria 
the shoemaker went into the marble palace, where 
he saw a table covered with all kinds of dishes; 
so he seated himself at the table, ate and drank his 
fill, and lived in this palace like a great man. 

Meanwhile Prince Dardavan, after his betrothal 
with Dogada, was travelling on business to another 
city ; and the trusty servant Prituitshkin thought 
this a favourable opportunity to marry Goria the 
shoemaker to Dogada. So he went to his master, 
the shoemaker, and said : " Now is the time to 
settle this affair; we must contrive that Mistafor 
takes you for Dardavan." So saying, he went out 
in front of the marble palace, raised a large tent, 
and ordered all the musicians to strike up. When 
Mistafor heard such a variety of beautiful sounds 


he bethought himself that Prince Dardavan must 
be arrived, and sent to inquire. As soon as he was 
informed that the supposed Prince Dardavan had 
arrived, he sent a number of his people to invite 
his dear son-in-law to a feast. Then the messengers 
went to Goria, bowed humbly before him, and 
invited him in the name of their Prince Mistafor 
Skurlatovich to visit him and be his guest. " Go," 
answered Goria, " and tell Mistafor Skurlatovich 
that I will soon come to him." So the ambassadors 
bowed low to the shoemaker, and returned and 
related to their Prince what they had heard from 
the supposed Tsarevich Dardavan, and all they 
had seen. 

After the departure of Mistafor's messengers, 
Prituitshkin went to Goria the shoemaker and 
said : " Now is the time for you to go to Mistafor ; 
listen to what I say : when you come to the court- 
yard of the palace, and dismount from your steed, 
do not fasten him up, nor give him to anyone to 
hold, but only cough loudly, and stamp on the 
ground with all your might. When you enter the 
hall, seat yourself on the chair numbered One. 
In the evening, when it is time to retire to rest, 
remain behind, and as soon as your bed is ready, 
do not lie down upon it, for Prince Dardavan 
always lies on his own bed, which weighs a hundred 


poods, I will provide you with such a bed ; and if 
I delay, strike me in the presence of Mistafor and 
his daughter. When you go to bed, and the servants 
bring you a number of lights, bid them take the 
lights all away, and order me to bring you a stone, 
which Prince Dardavan always lays on his table at 
night, I will bring you this stone, which shows 
more light than a thousand candles." 

When Goria the shoemaker heard these direc- 
tions he promised to observe them all. So he went 
into the courtyard, and Prituitshkin brought him 
the horse saddled. Then Goria mounted the steed, 
and Prituishkin another, and away they rode to 
Mistafor Skurlatovich ; and when they entered 
the courtyard, Mistafor came out to meet his 
beloved son-in-law, the supposed Prince Dardavan. 
Then Goria the shoemaker dismounted from his 
gallant steed; but he did not fasten him up, nor 
did he give him to anyone to hold : he only 
coughed aloud and stamped upon the ground. The 
horse stood, as if rooted to the spot. Then Goria 
went into the hall and bowed to all four sides, 
kissed his host, and seated himself upon the chair 
with the number One. Mistafor went to his daughter 
Dogada, and bade her come and welcome her 
betrothed husband, Prince Dardavan ; but Dogada 
was discreet and cunning, and replied; " My 


gracious lord and father, this is indeed not Prince 
Dardavan, but our shoemaker Goria Krutshinin." 
" Don't talk nonsense," said Mistafor; " I have 
seen Prince Dardavan face to face, and know him 
well; this is the Prince, and no shoemaker indeed." 

" Well and good," said Dogada ; "I will go and 
welcome him ; but only bear in mind what I say : 
it is not Prince Dardavan, but our shoemaker Goria, 
disguised like him. Now mind one thing : when 
we sit down at table to eat, order white bread and 
brown bread to be brought to him : and if you 
observe that this guest cuts first a piece of the 
brown bread you will know that he is not Prince 
Dardavan but the shoemaker Goria, for Dardavan 
always eats first the white bread." 

" Good," said Mistafor, " I will observe." 

Then he invited Goria the shoemaker to sit down 
at table; and, when they were all seated, and white 
and brown bread was brought, Goria first took of 
the brown bread, and Mistafor and Dogada re- 
marked this. Then said Mistafor: " My dear and 
honoured son-in-law, Prince Dardavan, how is it 
that you cut so much brown bread and no white ? ' ' 

When the servant Prituitshkin heard this, he went 

invisibly up to Goria and whispered in his ear : 

" Tell Mistafor that your father, when he sat at 

table, always gave first to the poor a piece of bread 



to eat, and instead of salt, used to pour out to them 
ft bag of gold : and so saying, order me to bring 
you the bag of gold.*' 

Then the supposed Tsarevich Dardavan re- 
peated those words to Mistafor, cut some more 
slices of brown bread, and called to his servant 
Prituitshkin to bring him the bag of gold. In the 
twinkling of an eye Prituitshkin brought the money, 
which he had stolen from Mistafor's treasury, and 
Goria desired him to collect a troop of beggars. 
So the servant ran out and returned in a trice with 
a crowd of hungry men, and Goria distributed the 
bread, giving to each a piece of gold out of the 
bag. And when he had given away all the bread 
and the golden coins, he himself fell to eating. 

After dinner Mistafor said to his daughter : 
" What say you now is not this Prince Dardavan?" 
" No, dear father," replied Dogada, " this is not 
the Prince, but our shoemaker Krutshinin." 

" Why, have you lost your wits, child?" said 
Mistafor; " we have got rid of Goria Krutshinin 
long ago." " Well, mark you," replied Dogada, 
" I will prove that this man is not the Prince. Invite 
him to spend the night here, and order a bed to be 
made ready for him ; and if he lies down upon it 
he is not Prince Dardavan, but the shoemaker 



When the evening came, and it grew late, Mis- 
tafor ordered the best bed to be made ready for 
the shoemaker; then Mistafor asked the pretended 
Tsarevich whether, as it was growing late, he wished 
to retire to rest. So Goria went into the bedchamber, 
and, seeing that it was not the bed of which Pritu- 
itshkin had spoken, he instantly called his servant, 
as if in a passion, and giving him a box on the ears, 
said : " You rascal, why have you not made ready 
my bed? You know very well that I always sleep 
on my hundred-pood bed : go instantly and bring 
it to me ! ' Thereupon Prituitshkin ran as fast as 
he could and brought the hundred-pood bed, 
which he had stolen from Prince Dardavan. 

Then Goria the shoemaker undressed, and lay 
down upon the bed ; and Dogada, on purpose to 
try him, ordered a number of tapers to be lighted 
and taken into his bedchamber. But Goria in- 
stantly drove all the servants away with the lights, 
and ordered Prituitshkin to give him the stone, 
which the latter presently brought, having stolen 
this also from Prince Dardavan. Then Goria 
placed the stone on the table, and lay down to 
sleep ; and the light shed by the stone was more 
dazzling than a meteor in the sky. 

At midnight, Dogada sent one of her attendants 
into the bedroom of the shoemaker, desiring her 
161 M 


to steal away the stone from the table. But hardly 
had the girl entered the apartment, and was about 
to run off with the stone, than the servant Pritu- 
itshkin, who was lying by the door, jumped up 
and exclaimed : " Is it not a shame for you, pretty 
girl, to rob your future lord and master ! You 
must leave me now a pledge for your conduct/' 
So saying, he drew off the maid's slipper and 
head-dress and dismissed her. Then the girl went 
to her mistress and told her the whole affair ; but 
Dogada did not despair, and, after an hour, think- 
ing that Goria and his servant Prituitshkin would 
now be asleep, she sent another maid to steal the 
stone. When the girl entered the bedchamber, up 
jumped Prituitshkin again as before, pulled off 
her slipper, head-dress and jacket, and let her go. 
But after another hour had passed, Dogada, again 
thinking they must have fallen asleep, resolved to 
go herself and fetch the stone. Scarely, however, 
had she entered the bedroom of the shoemaker 
Goria, and laid her hand upon the stone, than up 
jumped Prituitshkin, and, seizing her, exclaimed : 
" How ! is it not a shame for your Grace to con- 
trive such wickedness ? It is not becoming the 
daughter of so renowned a father to be plotting 
such tricks ; therefore, I must beg of you, fair 
lady, to leave me a pledge.'* No sooner said than 


done : Prituitshkin slipped off her jacket, slipper, 
and head-dress, and dismissed Dogada in shame 
and remorse. 

Early the next day, when the shoemaker Goria 
arose, his servant Prituitshkin told him all that 
passed during the night, and advised him, when 
Mistafor should propose to him a riddle, to answer : 
" Riddle me no riddle, but I will give you a riddle, 
and then," continued he, " propose to Mistafor 
this riddle : " I went to walk in your green meadows 
and caught three goats, and stripped from each 
of them three skins.' If Mistafor doubts, and says 
that it is impossible for a goat to have three skins, 
call me and order me to bring the skins." 

When Goria received these directions from his 
servant Prituitshkin, he went to Mistafor, who at 
once began to propose to him a riddle, but Goria 
answered ; "I will give you a riddle." And he 
continued : " I went to walk in your green meadows 
and caught three goats, and stripped from each of 
them three skins. " Mistafor doubted greatly and said : 
" It is impossible for a goat to have three skins." 

" At all events 'tis quite true," replied Goria ; 
and so saying, he ordered Prituitshkin to bring 
the three skins which he had taken from the three 
goats. So the servant immediately brought them 
to him. 



When Mistafor beheld his daughter's dress he 
was troubled, scolded her in his heart, and asked 
the pretended Tsarevich how Dogada's dress had 
come into his hands. So the shoemaker told him 
all that had happened. Mistafor, enraged against 
his daughter, exclaimed : Look ye, did you not 
say that this was not Prince Dardavan, but the 
shoemaker Goria Krutshinin? I have no longer 
patience prepare instantly for your wedding." 
And Goria the shoemaker married the Princess 
Dogada that very day. 

Sometime after this the servant Prituitshkin came 
to Goria and said : " Now that I have made your 
fortune, do something for me in return : I have a 
request to make. In your garden is a pond, in which 
I formerly lived. A maiden was one day washing 
linen, and dropped a ring into the pond, and by 
that means she drove me from it. Order now the 
water to be let off and the pond to be cleaned out : 
desire that whoever finds the ring shall bring it to 
you, and when it is found, order the pond to be 
filled with clear water and a boat to be built ; and 
in this boat sail with your wife and me. I will then 
throw myself into the water, and when your wife 
exclaims : " Ah! the servant Prituitshkin is 
drowned ! ' ' only reply : ' ' The devil take him ! ' ' 

When Goria the shoemaker heard this, he ordered 


the pond in the garden to be emptied and cleaned, 
and that whatever was found in it should be brought 
to him. And when the pond was drained, the ring 
was found at the bottom by a boy, who brought it 
to Goria the shoemaker. Then Goria ordered the 
water to be let into the pond, and a boat to be 
built. As soon as all was ready, he seated himself, 
with his wife and servant, Prituitshkin, in the boat, 
and sailed out into the middle of the pond. But on 
a sudden Prituitshkin jumped into the water, and 
Dogada exclaimed : " Ah ! see, the servant Pritu- 
itshkin is drowned!" Then said Goria : " The 
devil take him ! I want him no longer." 

Prince Dardavan, the real affianced husband of 
Dogada, was sent out to battle, and there lost his 
life. Goria the shoemaker ever after went by his 
name, and lived many years with Dogada in great 
happiness, forgetting his former unhappy fate. 



IN a certain village lived at one time a peasant, 
who had three sons, two of whom were clever, 
but the third was a fool, and his name was 
Emelyan. And when the peasant had lived a long 
time, and was grown very old, he called his three 
sons to him, and said to them : " My dear children, 
I feel that I have not much longer to live ; so I 
give you the house and cattle, which you will 
divide among you, share and share alike. I have 
also given you each a hundred roubles." Soon 
after, the old man died, and the sons, when they 
had buried him, lived on happy and contented. 

Some time afterwards Emelyan 's brothers took 
a fancy to go to the city and trade with the hundred 
roubles their father had left them. So they said to 
Emelyan : " Hark ye, fool! we are going to the 
city, and will take your hundred roubles with us; 
and, if we prosper in trade, we will buy you a red 
coat, red boots, and a red cap. But do you stay 
here at home ; and when our wives, your sisters- 
in-law, desire you to do anything, do as they bid 
you." The fool, who had a great longing for a red 
coat and cap, and red boots, answered that he 


would do whatever his sisters-in-law bade him. 
So his brothers went off to the city, and the fool 
stayed at home with his two sisters. 

One day, when the winter was come, and the 
cold was great, his sisters-in-law told him to go 
out and fetch water ; but the fool remained lying 
on the stove, and said : " Ay, indeed, and v r ho 
then are you?" The sisters began to scold him. and 
said : " How now, fool! we are what you see. 
You know how cold it is, and that it is a, man's 
business to go." But he said : " I am lazy.*' 
" How!" they exclaimed, " you are lazy? Surely 
you will want to eat, and if we have no water we 
cannot cook. But never mind," they added ; " we 
will only tell our husbands not to give him any- 
thing when they have bought the fine red coat and 
all for him!" 

The fool heard what they said ; and, as he 
longed greatly to have the red coat and cap, he 
saw that he must go ; so he got down from the 
stove and began to put on his shoes and stockings 
and to dress himself to go out. When he was 
dressed, he took the buckets and the axe and went 
down to the river hard by. And when he came to 
the river he began to cut a large hole in the ice. 
Then he drew water in the buckets, and setting 
them on the ice, he stood by the hole, looking into 


the water. And as the fool was looking, he saw a 
large pike swimming about. However stupid 
Emelyan was, he felt a wish to catch this pike ; so 
he stole cautiously and softly to the edge of the 
hole, and making a sudden grasp at the pike he 
caught him, and pulled him out of the water. Then, 
putting him in his bosom, he was hastening home 
with him, when the pike cried out : " Ho, fool! 
why have you caught me?" He answered : "To 
take you home and get my sisters-in-law to cook 
you." " Nay, fool! do not take me home, but 
throw me back into the water and I will make a 
rich man of you." But the fool would not consent, 
and jogged on his way home. When the pike saw 
that the fool was not for letting him go, he said 
to him : " Hark ye, fool ! put me back in the water 
and I will do for you everything you do not like 
to do yourself ; you will only have to wish and it 
shall be done." 

On hearing this the fool rejoiced beyond measure 
for, as he was uncommonly lazy, he thought to 
himself: " If the pike does everything I have no 
mind to do, all will be done without my being 
troubled to work." So he said to the pike : "I will 
throw you back into the water if you do all you 
promise." The pike said : " Let me go first and 
then I will keep my promise." But the fool 


answered : " Nay, nay, you must first perform your 
promise, and then I will let you go." When the 
pike saw that Emelyan would not put him into 
the water he said : " If you wish me to do all you 
desire, you must first tell me what your desire is." 
" I wish," said the fool, " that my buckets should 
go of themselves from the river up the hill to the 
village without spilling any of the water." Then 
said the pike : " Listen now, and remember the 
words I say to you : At the pike's command, and 
at my desire, go, buckets, of yourselves up the 
hill!" Then the fool repeated after him these 
words, and instantly, with the speed of thought, 
the buckets ran up the hill. When Emelyan saw 
this he was amazed beyond measure, and he said 
to the pike : " But will it always be so?" " Every- 
thing you desire will be done," replied the pike ; 
" but I warn you not to forget the words I have 
taught you." Then Emelyan put the pike into the 
water and followed his buckets home. 

The neighbours were all amazed and said to 
one another : " This fool makes the buckets come 
up of themselves from the river, and he follows 
them home at his leisure." But Emelyan took no 
notice of them, and went his way home. The 
buckets were by this time in the house, and 
standing in their place on the foot-bench ; so 


the fool got up and stretched himself on the 

After some time his sisters-in-law said to him 
again: " Emelyan, why are you lazying there? 
Get up and go cut wood." But the fool replied : 
" Yes! and you who are you?" " Don't you see 
it is now winter, and if you don't cut wood you 
will be frozen? " I am lazy," said the fool. 
"What! you are lazy?" cried the sisters. "If 
you do not go instantly and cut wood, we will tell 
our husbands not to give you the red coat, or the 
red cap, or the fine red boots!" The fool, who 
longed for the red cap, coat, and boots, saw that 
he must go and cut the wood ; but as it was bitterly 
cold, and he did not like to come down from off 
the stove, he repeated in an undertone, as he lay, 
the words : " At the pike's command, and at my 
desire, up, axe, and hew the wood ! and do you, 
logs, come of yourselves in the stove!" Instantly 
the axe jumped up, ran out into the yard, and began 
to cut up the wood ; and the logs came of themselves 
into the house, and laid themselves in the stove. 
When the sisters saw this, they wondered exceed- 
ingly at the cleverness of the fool ; and, as the axe 
did of its own accord the work whenever Emelyan 
was wanted to cut wood, he lived for some time in 
peace and harmony with them. At length the wood 


was all finished, and they said to him : " Emelyan, 
we have no more wood, so you must go to the 
forest and cut some." " Ay," said the fool, " and 
you, who are you, then?" The sisters replied : 
" The wood is far off, and it is winter, and too 
cold for us to go." But the fool only said : " I am 
lazy." " How! you are lazy," cried they; " you 
will be frozen then ; and moreover, we will take 
care, when our husbands come home, that they 
shall not give you the red coat, cap, and boots." 
As the fool longed for the clothes, he saw that he 
must go and cut the wood ; so he got off the stove, 
put on his shoes and stockings, and dressed him- 
self ; and, when he was dressed, he went into the 
yard, dragged the sledge out of the shed, took a 
rope and the axe with him, and called out to his 
sisters-in-law : " Open the gate." 

When the sisters saw that he was riding off 
without any horses, they cried: " Why, Emelyan, 
you have got on the sledge without yoking the 
horses!" But he answered that he wanted no 
horses, and bade them only open the gate. So the 
sisters threw open the gate, and the fool repeated 
the words : " At the pike's command, and at my 
desire, away, sledge, off to the wood!" Instantly 
the sledge galloped out of the yard at such a rate 
that the people of the village, when they saw it, 


were filled with amazement at Emelyan 's riding 
the sledge without horses, and with such speed 
that a pair of horses could never have drawn it at 
such a rate. The fool had to pass through the town 
on his way to the wood, and away he dashed at 
full speed. But the fool did not know that he should 
cry out : " Make way !" so that he should not run 
over anyone ; but away he went, and rode over 
quite a lot of people; and, though they ran after 
him, no one was able to overtake and bring him 
back. At last Emelyan, having got clear of the town, 
came to the wood and stopped his sledge. Then he 
got down and said : " At the pike's command, and 
at my desire, up, axe, hew wood ; and you, logs ! 
lay yourselves on the sledge, and tie yourselves to- 
gether. Scarcely had the fool uttered these words 
when the axe began to cut wood, the logs to lay 
themselves on the sledge, and the rope to 
tie them down. When the axe had cut wood 
enough, Emelyan desired it to cut him a good 
cudgel; and when the axe had done this, he 
mounted the sledge and cried : " Up, and away ! 
At the pike's command, and at my desire, go home, 
sledge!" Away then went the sledge at the top 
of its speed, and when he came to the town, where 
he had hurt so many people, he found a crowd 
waiting to catch him ; and, as soon as he got into 


the gates, they laid hold of him, dragged him off 
his sledge, and fell to beating him. When the fool 
saw how they were treating him, he said in an 
under voice : "At the pike's command, and at my 
desire, up, cudgel, and thrash them!" Instantly 
the cudgel began to lay about it on all sides; and, 
when the people were all driven away, he made 
his escape, and came to his own village. The cudgel, 
having thrashed all soundly, rolled home after 
him ; and Emelyan, as usual, when he got home, 
climbed up and lay upon the stove. 

After he had left the town, all the people fell to 
talking, not so much of the number of persons he 
had injured, as of their amazement at his riding 
in a sledge without horses ; and the news spread 
from one to another, till it reached the Court and 
came to the ears of the King. And when the King 
heard it, he felt an extreme desire to see him : so 
he sent an officer with some soldiers to look for 
him. The officer instantly started, and took the 
road that the fool had taken ; and when he came 
to the village where Emelyan lived, he summoned 
the Starosta, or head-man of the village, and said 
to him : " I am sent by the King to take a certain 
fool, and bring him before his Majesty." The 
Starosta at once showed him the house where 
Emelyan lived, and the officer went into it and 


asked where the fool was. He was lying on the 
stove, and answered : " What is it you want with 
me?" "How!" said the officer, "what do I 
want with you? Get up this instant and dress 
yourself; I must take you to the King." But 
Emelyan said: "What to do?" Whereat the 
officer became so enraged at the rudeness of his 
replies that he hit him on the cheek. " At the pike's 
command, and at my desire," said the fool, " up, 
cudgel, and thrash them!" Instantly up sprang 
the cudgel and began to lay about it on all sides. 
So the officer was obliged to go back to the town 
as fast as he could ; and when he came before the 
King, and told him how the fool had cudgelled 
him, the King marvelled greatly, and would not 
believe the story. 

Then the King called to him a wise man and 
ordered him to bring the fool by craft, if nothing 
else would do; so the wise man went to the village 
where Emelyan lived, called the Starosta before 
him and said : " I am ordered by the King to take 
your fool ; and therefore ask for the persons with 
whom he lived." Then the Starosta ran and fetched 
Emelyan's sisters-in-law. The King's messenger 
asked them what it was the fool liked, and they 
answered : " Noble sir, if anyone entreats our fool 
earnestly to do anything, he flatly refuses the first 


and second time ; the third time he consents, and 
does what he is required, for he dislikes to be 
roughly treated." 

The King's messenger thereupon dismissed 
them and forbade them to tell Emelyan that he 
had summoned them before him. Then he brought 
raisins, baked plums, and grapes, and went to the 
fool. When he came into the room, he went up to 
the stove and said : " Emelyan, why are you 
lying there?" and with that he gave him the 
raisins, the baked plums, and the grapes, and 
said : " Emelyan, we will go together to the King : 
I will take you with me." But the fool replied : " I 
am very warm here " ; for there was nothing he 
liked so much as being warm. Then the messenger 
began to entreat him : " Be so good, Emelyan, 
do let us go! You will like the Court vastly." 
"No," said the fool " I am lazy." But the messen- 
ger entreated him once more : " Do come with 
me, there's a good fellow, and the King will give 
you a fine red coat and cap, and a pair of red boots." 
When the fool heard of the red coat he said : " Go 
on before, I will follow you." The messenger 
pressed him no further, but went out and asked 
the sisters-in-law if there was any danger of the 
fool's deceiving him. They assured him there was 
not, and he went away. 



Emelyan, who remained lying on the stove, then 
said to himself : " How I dislike this going to the 
King!" And after a minute's thought, he said: 
" At the pike's command, and at my desire, up, 
stove, and away to the town!" And instantly the 
wall of the room opened, and the stove moved 
out; and when it got clear of the yard, it went at 
such a rate that there was no overtaking it ; soon 
it came up with the King's messenger, and went 
along with him into the palace. When the King 
saw the fool coming, he went forth with all his Court 
to meet him ; and he was amazed beyond measure 
at seeing Emelyan come riding on the stove. But 
the fool lay still and said nothing. Then the King 
asked him why he had upset so many people on 
his way to the wood. " It was their own fault," 
said the fool; " why did they not get out of the 

Just at that moment the King's daughter came 
to the window, and Emelyan happening suddenly 
to look up, and seeing how handsome she was, 
said in a whisper : " At the pike's command, and 
at my desire, let this lovely maiden fall in love 
with me!" ; And scarcely had he spoken the words 
when the King's daughter fell desperately in love 
with him. Then said the fool : "At the pike's 
command, and at my desire, up, stove, and away 


home!" Immediately the stove left the palace, 
went through the town, returned home, and set 
itself in its old place. And Emelyan lived there for 
some time comfortably and happy. 

But it was very different in the town; for, at 
the word of Emelyan, the King's daughter had 
fallen in love, and she began to implore her father 
to give her the fool for her husband. The King 
was in a great rage, both with her and the fool, 
but he knew not how to catch him ; then his 
minister proposed that the same officer, as a pun- 
ishment for not succeeding the first time, should 
be sent again to take Emelyan. This advice pleased 
the King, and he summoned the officer to his 
presence, and said : " Hark ye, friend! I sent you 
before for the fool, and you came back without 
him ; to punish you I now send you for him a 
second time. If you bring him, you shall be 
rewarded; if you return without him, you shall 
be punished." 

When the officer heard this, he left the King and 
lost no time in going in quest of the fool ; and on 
coming to the village he called for the Starosta and 
said to him : " Here is money for you; buy every- 
thing necessary for a good dinner to-morrow. 
Invite Emelyan, and when he comes, make him 
drink until he falls asleep." The Starosta, knowing 
177 N 


that the officer came from the King, was obliged 
to obey him; so he bought all that was required 
and invited the fool. And Emelyan said he would 
come, whereat the officer was greatly rejoiced. So 
next day the fool came to dinner, and the Starosta 
plied him so well with drink that he fell fast asleep. 
When the officer saw this, he ordered the kibitka 
(or carriage) to be brought; and putting the fool 
into it, they drove off to the town, and went straight 
to the palace. As soon as the King heard that they 
were come, he ordered a large cask to be provided 
without delay, and to be bound with strong iron 
hoops. When the cask was brought to the King, 
and he saw that everything was ready as he desired, 
he commanded his daughter and the fool to be 
put in it, and the cask to be well pitched; and, 
when this was all done, the cask was thrown into 
the sea, and left to the mercy of the waves. Then 
the King returned to his palace, and the cask 
floated along upon the sea. All this time the fool 
was fast asleep ; when he awoke, and saw that it 
was quite dark, he said to himself: " Where am 
I?" for he thought he was alone. But the Princess 
said: " You are in a cask, Emelyan! and I am 
shut up with you in it." " But who are you?" said 
the fool. " I am the King's daughter," replied she. 
And she told him why she had been shut up there 


with him. Then she besought him to free himself 
and her out of the cask; but the fool said : " Nay, 
I am warm enough here." " But grant me at least 
the favour," said the Princess; " have pity on 
my tears, and deliver me out of this cask." " Why 
so?" said Emelyan; " I am lazy." Then the 
Princess began to entreat him still more urgently, 
until the fool was at last moved by her tears and 
entreaties, and said : " Well, I will do this for you." 
Then he said softly : " At the pike's command, 
and at my desire, cast us, O sea! upon the shore, 
where we may dwell on dry land; but let it be 
near our own country; and, cask! fall to pieces 
on the shore." 

Scarcely had the fool uttered these words when 
the waves began to roll, and the cask was thrown 
on a dry place, and fell to pieces of itself. So 
Emelyan got up and went with the Princess round 
about the spot where they were cast ; and the fool 
saw that they were on a fine island, where there 
was an abundance of trees, with all kinds of fruit 
upon them. When the Princess saw this, she was 
greatly rejoiced and said : " But, Emelyan, where 
shall we live? there is not even a nook here." 
" You want too much," said the fool. " Grant me 
one favour," replied the Princess : "let there be at 
least a little cottage in which we may shelter 


ourselves from the rain "; for the Princess knew 
that he could do everything that he wished. But the 
fool said: " I am lazy." Nevertheless, she went 
on entreating him, until at last Emelyan was obliged 
to do as she desired. Then he stepped aside and 
said : " At the pike's command, and at my desire, 
let me have in the middle of this island a finer 
castle than the King's, and let a crystal bridge 
lead from my castle to the royal palace; and let 
there be attendants of all conditions in the court!" 
Hardly were the words spoken, when there 
appeared a splendid castle, with a crystal bridge. 
The fool went with the Princess into the castle 
and beheld the apartments all magnificently fur- 
nished, and a number of persons, footmen and all 
kinds of officers, who waited for the fool's com- 
mands. When he saw that all these men were like 
men, and that he alone was ugly and stupid, he 
wished to be better, so he said: " At the pike's 
command, and at my desire, away ! let me become a 
youth without an equal, and extremely wise !" And 
hardly had he spoken, when he became so hand- 
some and so wise that all were amazed. 

Emelyan now sent one of his servants to the 

King to invite him and all his Court. So the servant 

went along the crystal bridge which the fool had 

made, and when he came to the Court, the ministers 



brought him before the King, and Emelyan's 
messenger said : " Please, your Majesty, I am 
sent by my master to invite you to dinner." The 
King asked him who his master was, but he 
answered : " Please, your Majesty, I can tell you 
nothing about my master (for the fool had ordered 
him not to tell who he was), but if you come to 
dine with him, he will inform you himself." The 
King, being curious to know who had sent to 
invite him, told the messenger that he would go 
without fail. The servant went away, and when 
he got home the King and his Court set out along 
the crystal bridge to go and visit the fool; and, 
when they arrived at the castle, Emelyan came 
forth to meet the King, took him by his white 
hands, kissed him on his sugared lips, led him 
into his castle, and seated him at the oaken tables 
covered with fine diaper tablecloths, and spread 
with sugar-meats and honey-drinks. The King 
and his ministers ate and drank and made merry. 
When they rose from the table and retired, the 
fool said to the King : " Does your Majesty know 
who I am?" As Emelyan was now dressed in fine 
clothes, and was very handsome, it was not possible 
to recognize him ; so the King replied that he did 
not know him. Then the fool said : " Does not 
your Majesty recollect how a fool came riding on 


a stove to your Court, and how you fastened him 
up in a pitched cask with your daughter, and cast 
them into the sea? Know me now I am that 

When the King saw him thus in his presence he 
was greatly terrified and knew not what to do. 
But the fool went to the Princess and led her out 
to him; and the King, on seeing his daughter, 
was greatly rejoiced, and said : " I have been very 
unjust to you, and so I gladly give you my daughter, 
to wife." The fool humbly thanked the King; 
and when Emelyan had prepared everything for 
the wedding, it was celebrated with great magnifi- 
cence, and the following day the fool gave a feast 
to the ministers and all the people. When the 
festivities were at an end, the King wanted to give 
up his kingdom to his son-in-law, but Emelyan 
did not wish to have the crown. So the King went 
back to his kingdom, and the fool remained in the 
castle and lived happily. 



TWO brothers once lived upon a little plot 
of ground one rich, the other poor. The 
poor brother went to the rich one to beg of 
him a horse that he might fetch wood from the 
forest. His brother gave him the horse ; but the 
poor one begged of him likewise a horse-collar, 
whereat the other was angry and would not give 
it him. So the poor fellow in his trouble fastened 
the sledge to the horse's tail and thus drove to the 
forest, and got such a load of wood that the horse 
had scarcely strength to draw it. When he came 
home, he opened the gate, but forgot to remove 
the foot-board, fastened to the side posts to keep 
the snow from coming in under the door ; and the 
horse stumbled against the board and lost his tail. 
The poor fellow took the horse back, but when his 
brother saw the beast without a tail, he would not 
have him, and set out to go before the judge, 
Shemyaka, to make a complaint. The poor man 
saw that he would fall into trouble, and the judge 
would send for him : he considered for a long 
while that he had nothing to give, and he followed 
his brother on foot. 



On the way, as night came on, they stopped at 
the house of a merchant. The rich brother was 
taken in to supper and well treated, but the poor 
man was not given anything to eat, and had to 
take his night's rest on the kitchen stove. All night 
he was tossing and rolling about hungry, and at 
last he fell off the stove on to a cradle lying beside 
it, and killed the merchant's baby in the fall. So 
the merchant was very angry, and next morning 
went with him to get the poor man punished by 
the judge Shemyaka. 

It so happened that on the way to town the 
party had to go over a bridge, and the poor man 
was so frightened at the thought of what the judge 
Shemyaka might do to him that he threw himself 
over the bridge, to put an end to his life; but just 
at that instant a young man was driving his sick 
father to the bath-house, and the poor man fell 
upon the sledge and crushed the old man. So the 
son went with the rich brother and the merchant 
to the judge to make his complaint that the poor 
man had killed his father. 

The rich brother came first before the judge 
Shemyaka and complained that his brother had 
pulled off the tail of his horse. The poor man took 
a stone and tied it in a towel; and, standing up 
behind his brother, he held it up to the judge, 



intending to kill him unless he decided in his 
favour. The judge thought that the towel was 
filled with roubles, and so he ordered the rich 
man to give back the horse to the poor one until 
his tail had grown again. 

Then the merchant came up to complain of the 
death of his baby, and the poor man again brand- 
ished his heavy towel before the judge, and because 
he hoped for another bribe the judge said : " You 
must send your wife to the poor man's house till 
she has another baby, and then you will be as well 
off as before." 

Then the son came and accused the poor man 
of having crushed his father to death, and asked 
the judge for justice. The poor man took up the 
stone again, and showed it as before to the judge, 
who fancied that the man would perhaps give him 
for this charge another hundred roubles. So he 
ordered the son to stand on the bridge while the 
poor man passed under it; and that the son should 
in like manner leap down upon the poor man and 
crush him. 

So the poor brother came to the rich one to 
fetch the horse without a tail, according to the 
judge's sentence, and to keep it until the tail grew 
again. The rich man was very loth to give up the 
horse, and instead, made him a present of five 


roubles, three bushels of corn, and a milch goat, 
and thus they settled their quarrel. 

So then the poor man went to the merchant to 
take his wife away from him, and the merchant 
offered him fifty roubles, a cow with her calf, a 
mare with her foal, and five measures of grain, 
which he willingly accepted. 

Then the poor man went to the son and said : 
" Come, the judge has said that you must place 
yourself on the bridge while I stand under it, and 
you must throw yourself down on me and kill 
me." Then the son thought to himself : " Who 
knows but that, if I throw myself from the bridge, 
I may, perhaps, instead of falling on this man, 
dash myself to pieces." So he tried to make peace 
with the poor man, and gave him two hundred 
roubles, a horse, and five measures of corn. 

But the jduge Shemyaka sent his servant to the 
poor man to ask for the three hundred roubles. 
The poor man showed him the stone and said : 
" If the judge had not decided in my favour I 
should have killed him." So the servant went back 
to the judge and told him what the poor man had 
said ; whereat the judge, overjoyed, exclaimed : 
" Heaven be thanked that I decided in this man's 



IN France there once lived a high-born Prince 
named Volchvan, with his wife Petronida; and 
they had an only son named Peter. Now, Prince 
Peter had in his youth a great inclination for 
knightly prowess and deeds of war; and, when 
he came of age, he sighed after nothing so much 
as chivalrous feats. But it happened that at this 
time a knight named Ruiganduis arrived there 
from the kingdom of Naples, who, observing 
Peter's bravery, said : " Prince Peter, there is a 
King in Naples who has a beautiful daughter 
named Magilene, and this King rewards richly all 
those knights who do battle in behalf of his 

Then Peter went to his father and mother and 
begged for their blessing that he might travel to 
the kingdom of Naples to learn there knightly 
feats, but especially to see the beauty of the King's 
daughter Magilene. So they dismissed Prince Peter 
with great sorrow, exhorting him to make friend- 
ship with good men only; then, giving him three 


golden rings with precious stones and a gold chain, 
they dismissed him in peace. 

When Prince Peter arrived at the kingdom of 
Naples, he ordered a skilful workman to make him 
a coat-of-mail and a helmet, and to fasten to this 
two golden keys; then he rode to the tournament- 
lists, where the King and his knights were assem- 
bled. There he gave his name as Peter with the 
Golden Keys, and he placed himself behind the 
knights. First rode forth Sir Andrei Skrintor, and 
against him appeared the son of the King of 
England; and Andrei struck Henry so hard a blow 
that he was well-nigh thrown from his horse ; where- 
upon Landiot, the King's son, rode out and over- 
threw Andrei Skrintor. When Prince Peter saw this 
he rode at Landiot, and cried with a loud voice : 
" Long life and happiness to their Majesties and 
the beaautiful Princess Magilene!" and he rode at 
Landiot so furiously that he threw both him and 
his steed to the ground, and thrust the lance 
through his heart. Peter was praised by the King for 
this exploit, and still more by the Princess Magilene 
and all present, and he became the foremost of the 
King's knights. 

When the Princess Magilene beheld the valour 
and handsome appearance of Prince Peter she fell 
in love with him, and resolved to be his wife. She 


told her wish to her waiting-maid, and from that 
time Prince Peter visited the beautiful King's 
daughter daily, and gave her the three golden rings, 
in token of his love, and rode with her out of the 

And they rode off upon their goodly steeds, 
taking with them a quantity of gold and silver, 
and they journeyed on and on the whole night. 
Then Prince Peter came to an impenetrable forest, 
stretching among the mountains as far as the sea- 
coast, where they stopped to rest ; and the King's 
daughter threw herself on the grass, from weari- 
ness, and fell asleep. But Prince Peter sat beside 
her and watched her while she slept. Then he 
observed a knot in a golden clasp, and unfastening 
it, he found the three rings which he had given 
her. He laid them on the grass, and, as chance 
would have it, a black raven flew past, picked up 
the rings and flew with them on to a tree. Peter 
climbed up the tree to catch the bird ; but, as he 
was just about to seize it, the raven flew into another 
tree, and so from one tree to another, and then over 
the sea, and let fall the rings into the water, and 
itself lighted upon an island. Away ran Prince 
Peter after the raven to the seashore, and looked 
about till he found a small fishing boat to row to 
the island, but having no oars, he was obliged to 


paddle along with his hands. On a sudden a violent 
wind arose, and carried him out on to the open 
sea. When Peter saw that he was far from land, he 
well-nigh despaired of being saved, and exclaimed, 
with sighs and tears : " Alas! woe is me, the most 
miserable of men ! Why did I take the rings out of 
their place of safety ? I have destroyed all my joy ; 
I have carried off the fair Princess, and left her 
forsaken in a pathless wood. Wild beasts will tear 
her to pieces, or she will lose her way and die of 
hunger. Murderer that I am, that have shed 
innocent blood!" And with that he began to sink 
in the waves. 

Now it happened that a ship from Turkey came 
sailing by, and when the sailors saw a man sinking 
in the sea they picked him up and took him half- 
dead on board their ship. Then they sailed on until 
they arrived at the city of Alexandria, where they 
sold Peter to the Turkish Pasha. But the Pasha 
sent Prince Peter as a present to the Sultan of 
Turkey, who, when he saw his discreet behaviour, 
and handsome mien, made Peter a great senator, 
and his uprightness and gracious behaviour won 
for him the love of everyone. 

When the Princess Magilene awoke from her 
sleep in the wood, she looked around on all sides, 
but nowhere beheld Prince Peter : she wept with 


grief and despair, and fell upon the ground. At 
length she arose, went into the wood, and cried 
aloud with all her strength : " Noble Prince 
Peter, whither are you gone?" And thus she 
wandered about for a long time, and met a nun, 
and begged for her dark dress, giving her in ex- 
change her light-coloured one. At length she came 
to a harbour, where she hired a ship from the 
country in which Peter's father lived. There she 
dwelt with a noble lady named Susanna; she chose 
a spot among the mountains for a harbour, and built 
a convent, to w r hich she gave the name of Saint 
Peter and Paul, and established an hospital for the 
reception of strangers. Thus Magilene became 
celebrated by her piety and goodness. Then came 
Peter's father and mother to visit her, and brought 
her three rings, saying their cook had bought a 
fish, inside which these rings were found; but, 
as they had given them to their son Peter, they 
feared that he had been drowned at sea, and they 
wept bitterly. 

After Prince Peter had lived for a long time at 
the Court of the Turkish Sultan, he expressed a 
wish to travel to his native country. So the Sultan 
dismissed him with great presents, giving him 
much gold and silver and costly jewels. Then 
Peter hired a French ship, bought fourteen casks, 


put at the bottom of them some salt, then laid over 
this gold and silver, and on this more salt, and 
told the sailors that the casks contained only salt. 
He sailed with a favourable wind to his native 
country, and anchored at an island, not far from the 
country of France, for Prince Peter suffered from 
sea sickness. Then he wandered about on the 
shore, and lost his way in the island ; he lay down 
and fell fast asleep. The sailors sought for him 
everywhere for a long time, calling him by name; 
but not finding him, they went on their way. At 
length they came to the convent, and there de- 
posited the casks of salt; and once when there 
was a want of salt in the convent, Magilene ordered 
the casks to be opened and found in them innumer- 
able treasures. 

Prince Peter was found by some other sailors 
upon the island, and carried to this convent, where 
he was placed in Magilene 's hospital and there he 
remained for more than a month, but did not 
recognize Magilene, for her face was concealed by 
a black veil. And Peter wept every day. 

One day Magilene came to the hospital, saw 
Peter weeping, and asked him the cause of his 
tears; and he related to her exactly all his adven- 
tures. Then Magilene knew him again, and sent 
to inform his father Volchvan and his mother, 


Petronida, that their son was safe and well. Soon 
came the father and mother to the convent, and 
the King's daughter received them attired in 
princely robes. When Prince Peter saw his parents 
he fell at their feet, embraced them, and wept, 
and they wept with him. But Prince Peter stood 
up, took them by the hands, kissed them, and said : 
" My lord and father, and you my mother, this 
maiden is the daughter of the great King of Naples, 
to sue for whom I wandered so far." Then they 
were married, and lived happily ever after. 



f I * HERE was once a Tsar, named Chotei, 
who had three sons the first, Aspar Tsare- 
vich ; the second, Adam Tsarevich ; and 
the third and youngest son, Sila Tsarevich. The 
two eldest brothers entreated their father's per- 
mission to travel in foreign countries and see the 
world. Then the youngest brother, Sila Tsarevich, 
also begged the Tsar's permission to travel with 
his brothers. But Chotei said : " My dear son, 
you are still young, and not used to the difficulties 
of travelling ; remain at home, and think no more 
of this fancy you have taken." But Sila Tsarevich 
had a great longing to see foreign lands, and 
entreated his father so much that at length the 
Tsar consented, and gave him a ship likewise. As 
soon as the three brothers embarked, each on 
board his ship, they all gave orders to set sail. And 
when they were out on the open sea, the eldest 
brother's ship sailed first, the second brother's 
next, and Sila Tsarevich sailed last. 

On the third day of the voyage they saw a coffin 
with iron bands floating on the waves. The two 


eldest brothers sailed past without heeding it, 
but as soon as Sila Tsarevich saw the coffin, he 
ordered the sailors to pick it up, lay it on board 
his ship, and carry it to land. The next day a violent 
storm arose, by which Sila's ship was driven out of 
its course, and cast upon a steep shore in an un- 
known country. Then Sila ordered his sailors to 
take the coffin and to carry it on shore, whither he 
himself followed, and buried it in the earth. 

Thereupon Sila Tsarevich ordered the captain 
to remain upon the spot where the ship was stranded, 
and await his return for three years ; but adding 
that, should he not come back in that time, he 
should be free to set sail and return home. So say- 
ing, Sila took leave of his captain and his crew, and 
went forthwith, journeying on and on. He wandered 
about for a long while, without seeing anyone; at 
length he heard a man running after him, dressed 
all in white. Then Sila Tsarevich turned round and 
saw the man following him ; whereupon he instantly 
drew his sword to be upon his guard. But no 
sooner did the man come up to him than he fell 
on his knees and thanked Sila for having saved 
him. And Sila asked the man what he had done to 
deserve his thanks. Then the stranger stood up and 
answered : " Ah, Sila Tsarevich, how can I thank 
you enough? There I lay in the coffin, which you 


picked up at sea and buried ; and had it not been 
for you I might have remained floating about for 
a hundred years." " But how did you get into the 
coffin?" asked Sila. " Listen, and I will tell you 
the whole story," replied Ivashka. " I was a great 
magician ; my mother was told that I did great 
mischief to mankind by my arts, and therefore 
ordered me to be put into this coffin and set adrift 
on the open sea : for more than a hundred years 
I have been floating about, and no one has ever 
picked me up ; but to you I owe my rescue, 
and I will therefore serve you, and render 
you all the help in my power. Let me ask you 
whether you have not a wish to marry : I know the 
beautiful Queen Truda, who is worthy of being 
your wife." Sila replied that if this Queen were 
indeed beautiful, he was willing to marry her; and 
Ivashka told him she was the most beautiful 
woman in the world. When Sila heard this, he begged 
Ivashka to accompany him to her kingdom ; so 
they set out and travelled on and on till they 
reached that country. Now, Queen Truda's 
kingdom was surrounded by a palisade; and upon 
every stake was stuck a man's head, except one, 
which had no head. When Sila saw this, he was 
terrified, and asked Ivashka what it meant ; and 
Ivashka told him that these were the heads of 


heroes who had been suitors to Queen Truda. 
Sila shuddered on hearing this, and wished to 
return home without showing himself to the father 
of Truda ; but Ivashka told him to fear nothing 
and go with him boldly ; so Sila went on. 

When they entered the kingdom, Ivashka said : 
" Hearken, Sila Tsarevich, I will be your servant, 
and when you enter the royal halls, salute King 
Salom humbly : then he will ask you whence you 
came, and whose son you are, what is your name 
and business. Tell him everything and conceal 
nothing ; but say that you are come to sue for his 
daughter's hand ; he will give her to you with 
great joy." So Sila Tsarevich went into the palace, 
and, as soon as Prince Salom saw him, he went 
himself to meet him, took him by his white hands, 
led him into the marble halls, and asked him : 
" Fair youth, from what country do you come, 
whose son are you, what is your name, and what is 
your business?" " I am from the kingdom of 
my father the Tsar Chotei," replied Sila ; " my 
name is Sila Tsarevich, and I am come to sue for 
your daughter, the beautiful Queen Truda." 

King Salom was overjoyed that the son of such 

a renowned Tsar should be his son-in-law, and 

immediately ordered his daughter to prepare for 

the wedding. And when the day for the marriage 



came, the King commanded all his princes and 
boyars to assemble in the palace ; and they all 
went in procession to the church, and Sila Tsare- 
vich was married to the fair Queen Truda. Then 
they returned to the palace, seated themselves at 
table, and feasted and made merry. When the time 
came to retire to rest, Ivashka took Sila aside and 
whispered to him : " Hark, ye, Sila Tsarevich, 
when you go to rest, beware lest you speak a word 
to your bride or you will not remain alive, and 
your head will be stuck on the last stake. She 
will in every way try to make you embrace her, but 
attend to what I say." 

Then Sila Tsarevich enquired why he warned 
him thus, and Ivashka replied : " She is in league 
with an evil Spirit, who comes to her every night in 
the shape of a man, but flies through the air in 
the shape of a six-headed dragon ; now, if she 
lays her hand upon your breast and presses it, jump 
up and beat her with a stick until all her strength 
is gone. I will meanwhile remain on watch at the 
door of your apartment." 

When Sila Tsarevich heard this, he went with 
his wife to rest, and Queen Truda tried in every 
way to get him to kiss her, but Sila lay quite still 
and spoke not a word. Then Truda laid her hand 
upon his breast and pressed him so hard that he 


could scarcely breathe. But up jumped Sila Tsare- 
vich and seized the stick which Ivashka had laid 
there ready for him, and fell to beating her as hard 
as he could. On a sudden there arose a storm, and 
a six-headed dragon came flying into the room 
and was going to devour Sila Tsarevich, but 
Ivashka seized a sharp sword and attacked the 
dragon, and they fought three hours, and Ivashka 
struck off two of the dragon's heads, whereupon 
the monster flew away. Then Ivashka desired Sila 
Tsarevich to go to sleep and fear nothing. Sila 
obeyed him, laid himself down, and fell asleep. 

Early in the morning King Salom went to be 
informed whether his dear son still lived, and when 
he heard that Sila was alive and well, the King 
rejoiced, since he was the first who had been saved 
from his daughter ; and he instantly ordered Sila 
to be called, and the whole day was spent in merry- 

The following night Ivashka gave Sila Tsarevich 
the same caution as before, not to speak a word to 
his wife, and he placed himself on watch at the 
door. Then it fell out as before, and when Sila 
Tsarevich began to beat the Queen, on a sudden 
the dragon came flying in, and was going to devour 
Sila Tsarevich. But Ivashka rushed from behind 
the door, sword in hand, and fought with the dragon 


and struck off two more of his heads. Then the 
dragon flew away, and Sila Tsarevich lay down 
to sleep. Early in the morning the King commanded 
Sila to be invited, and they spent this day in the 
same pleasures as before. The third night the same 
happened again, and Ivashka cut off the last two 
heads of the dragon, and he burnt all the heads and 
strewed the ashes in the fields. 

Thus time passed on, and Sila Tsarevich lived 
with his father-in-law a whole year, without speak- 
ing to his wife or gaining her love. Then Ivashka 
told him one day to go to King Salom and ask 
permission to return to his native country. So Sila 
went to the King, who dismissed him, and gave 
him two squadrons of his army to accompany him 
as an escort. Then Sila took leave of his father-in- 
law, and set out with his wife on their journey to 
his own country. 

When they had gone half-way, Ivashka told Sila 
Tsarevich to halt and pitch his tent. So Sila obeyed, 
and ordered the tent to be put up. The next day 
Ivashka laid pieces of wood in front of Sila's tent 
and set fire to them. Then he led Queen Truda 
out of the tent, unsheathed his sword, and cut her 
in twain. Sila Tsarevich shuddered with terror and 
began to weep; but Ivashka said: " Weep not, 
she will come to life again." And presently all sorts 


of evil things came forth from the body, and Ivashka 
threw them all into the fire. Then he said to Sila 
Tsarevich: " See you not the evil spirits which 
troubled your wife? She is now relieved from 
them." And, so saying, he laid the parts of Truda's 
body together, sprinkled them with the water of 
life, and the Queen was instantly sound and whole 
as before. Then said Ivashka : " Now, farewell, 
Sila Tsarevich, you will find that your wife loves 
you truly, but you will never see me more." And 
so saying he vanished. 

Sila Tsarevich ordered the tent to be struck, 
and journeyed on to his native country. And when 
he came to the place where his ship was waiting 
for him, he went on board with the fair Queen 
Truda, dismissed the escort which accompanied 
him, and set sail. And on arriving at his own king- 
dom, he was welcomed with salvos of cannon, and 
Tsar Chotei came out of his palace and took him 
and the beautiful Queen Truda by their lily-white 
hands, led them into the marble halls, placed them 
at table, and they feasted and made merry. Sila 
Tsarevich lived with his father two years ; then 
he returned to the kingdom of King Salom, re- 
ceived from him the crown, and ruled over the 
country with his Queen Truda in great love and 






IN a certain country lived a Tsar named Kar- 
taus, who had twelve knights, and the Tsar 
had a chief over these knights, Prince Lasar 
Lasarevich. Prince Lasar and his wife, the Princess 
Epistimia, lived for seventy years and had no child ; 
and they began, with tears, to sigh for one to cheer 
their old age, and to pray for their souls after death. 
At length their wish was granted, and they had a 
son, whom Prince Lasar named Yaroslav. The 
little fellow had a rosy face, blonde hair, and bright 
eyes. His parents were overjoyed and made a great 
feast. When Yaroslav was fifteen years old he went 
often to the Tsar's Court and played with the 
children of princes and boyars. Then the princes 
counselled together, and went to the Tsar and 
said : " Our lord and sovereign, grant us your 
imperial favour : your Majesty has a knight, 
Prince Lasar, whose son Yaroslav comes to your 
imperial Court and plays with our children ; but 
his sports are mischievous, for whenever he takes 
anyone by the head, the head falls off, and this 


causes us great trouble and grief. Now, O Tsar, 
show us your favour, and either send Yaroslav 
out of your kingdom or grant us leave to depart, 
for live we cannot with Yaroslav." 

Then the Tsar Kartaus immediately sent for 
Prince Lasar, told him the complaints the princes 
and nobles had made of Yaroslav, and commanded 
that he should leave the kingdom. When Lasar 
heard this command, he rode away sorrowfully, 
with his head hanging lower than his shoulders. 
Now Yaroslav came to meet his father, bowed to 
the ground, and said : " Long years of happiness 
to my lord and father! Why ride you so sorrow- 
fully, my lord? Have you received an unkind word 
from the Tsar?" Prince Lasar answered : " My 
dear child Yaroslav, I have indeed received a cruel 
order from the Tsar. Other children are a joy to 
their father from their youth up, a support in his 
old age, and the guardian of his memory when 
dead. Not so, alas! with you, my son. You go to 
the Tsar's Court and play mischievous tricks with 
the children of the princes and boyars, and they 
have complained to the Tsar Kartaus, and he has 
banished you from the kingdom." 

At this Yaroslav laughed and said : "My lord 
and father, grieve not for me that I am banished. 
I have only one trouble : I am now fifteen years 


old, and have never been able to find in your stables 
a good horse that might serve me for ever and aye." 
Then they went into the marble halls, and Yaroslav 
Lasarevich begged permission of his father and 
mother to travel about the world, to see men and 
to be seen. So his parents at length consented, and 
gave him twenty lads, and fifty skilful builders, 
to build a marble palace on the sea coast. These 
builders erected the palace in three days, and sent 
a messenger to Prince Lasar and the Princess 
Epistimia, to tell them that the splendid palace 
was ready. Then Yaroslav took leave of his parents, 
and Prince Lasar and his wife wept bitterly at 
parting with their son, and gave him their blessing. 

So Yaroslav Lasarevich rode until he came to 
the marble palace on the seashore. His father and 
mother offered him gold, silver, jewels, horses, 
and attendants, but Yaroslav would have none of 
these : he took with him only an old horse, a 
Tcherkess saddle, a snaffle-bit, a blanket, and a 
leather whip. Thus came Yaroslav to his marble 
palace on the seashore, threw the blanket over 
him, placed the saddle under his head, and stretched 
himself out to sleep. Early the next morning 
Yaroslav arose, went out to walk on the seashore, 
and shot a number of wild geese, swans, and ducks. 
Upon these he fed, and lived thus one, two, and 


three months. Then he went upon a road which 
was so broad that a shot could not reach across it, 
and so deep that it went to the ears of a brave steed. 
Yaroslav looked at the road, and said to himself : 
' Who travels this road, a great army or a stout 
knight?" It happened that an old man came riding 
up to him on his grey horse, and he dismounted and 
threw himself down with his face to the ground, 
saying : ' Long life and happiness to you, Yaroslav 
Lasarevich! How goes it with you, my lord? 
and how comes it that you are in this desert spot?" 
" What is your name, old brother?" said Yaroslav. 
The man replied : " My name is Ivashka, master, 
and my horse is called Alotyagilei. I am a great 
shot and a mighty wrestler in the host of knights." 
" But how do you know my name?" replied 
Yaroslav. Ivashka answered : " My Lord, I am 
an old servant of your father, and have tended his 
horses in the fields for three-and-thirty years, 
and I come to your father once every year to 
receive my wages. Thus it is that I know you." 
Yaroslav answered : "I am going to the chase, 
and am wandering about in the open fields. He 
who has not tasted the bitter, does not relish the 
sweet. While still a young boy I ran about in the 
courtyard, and played with the children of the 
princes and boyars. But when I seize anyone by 


the head, his head falls off, and, when I take him 
by the hand, his hand falls off. This was not agree- 
able to the Tsar, and he banished me from his 
kingdom ; but this punishment was nothing in 
comparison to another greater grief which pains 
me sorely. I am already fifteen years old, but can 
find no horse in my father's stable that might serve 
me for life." Then said Ivashka : " My lord, 
Yaroslav Lasarevich, I have a horse, which is 
called Podlas : he must be caught, and he will 
serve you for ever and a day. If you do not catch 
him now you never will." " But how can I see the 
horse, brother Ivashka?" Ivashka answered : 
" Yaroslav Lasarevich, you can see this steed early 
in the morning, when I take the horses to the sea 
to drink, but if, when you see him, you do not 
seize him on the spot, you never will." Thereupon 
Yaroslav Lasarevich went into his marble palace, 
laid the horse-cloth under him, and the Tcherkess 
saddle and the bit under his head, and stretched 
himself out to sleep. The next morning he rose 
early, went into the field, and took the bridle, the 
Tcherkess saddle, and the leather whip with him. 
He concealed himself under an oak tree ; and 
presently saw Ivashka driving the horses to the 
sea to water, and, as he gazed upon the sea, he 
observed that where a steed drank, the waves 


foamed and roared fearfully. Above the oak tree 
screamed the eagles, and on the mountains roared 
the lions, and no one could approach the spot. 
Yaroslav wondered greatly, and when the horse 
came to stand opposite him, he leaped out from 
the oak and struck him with the back of his hand. 
The horse fell on his knees, and he seized him by 
his mane and said : " My trusty steed, who shall 
ride on you if not I your master?" Then he threw 
the bridle over him, put the Tcherkess saddle 
on his back, and rode to the marble palace, and 
Ivashka followed. Then said he to Ivashka : "What 
name shall I give this horse?" " How, my lord, 
shall a servant know better than his master to name 
such a horse?" So Yaroslav named him Uroshtch 
Veschei ; and he said to Ivashka : " Ride to my 
father, Prince Lasar, and tell him I am well and 
have found a trusty steed." Then Yaroslav Lasare- 
vich rode off upon his good horse to Ivan 
the Russian knight, and behind him followed 
Ivashka at full gallop till he was lost to sight. 

Ivashka returned to the kingdom of Kartaus, to 
Yaroslav 's father and mother, and carried the 
tidings that he was well. The parents rejoiced 
greatly to hear of their son, and dismissed Ivashka 
with rich presents. But Yaroslav Lasarevich rode 
on and on, for two and for three months, until at 


last he came to a field where an immense army 
lay slain. Then he cried with a loud voice : "Is 
there here no man still alive?" Immediately a 
man stood up and said : " My lord, Yaroslav 
Lasarevich, whom dost thou seek?" " I want a 
living man," said Yaroslav; and then he enquired 
to whom the army belonged, and who had slain 
it. " The army," replied the man, " belonged to 
Feodul the Dragon Tsar, and it has been slain by 
Prince Ivan the Russian knight, who sued for the 
hand of Feodul's daughter, the Princess Kandaula 
Feodulavna; and, as he would not give her of 
his free will, Ivan sought to take her by force." 
Thereupon Yaroslav asked how far distant this 
Russian knight was ; and the man replied : 
" Yaroslav Lasarevich, he has gone too far for 
you to reach him ; ride round the army, and you 
will see the footsteps of Prince Ivan." So Yaroslav 
rode round the army, and saw the tracks of the 
bounding of the steed ; for wherever he had struck 
his hoofs, large heaps of earth were thrown up. 
He followed the track until he came to another 
slain army : here he cried with a loud voice : " Is 
there not one living man here who has survived 
the battle?" Then up rose a man and said : " My 
lord, Yaroslav Lasarevich, one steed is better than 
another, and one youth surpasses another." Yaroslav 


rode on, and he rode for one, two, and three 
months; when at length he came to an open 
country, where he descried a white tent and beside 
it a goodly steed, before which corn was poured 
out upon a white linen cloth. Yaroslav dismounted 
and led his horse to feed, and his horse drove the 
other way. Then Yaroslav entered the tent, where 
a comely youth lay fast asleep : he drew his sword, 
and was on the point of slaying him when he 
bethought himself that it would bring no honour 
to slay a sleeping man ; so he lay down in the tent, 
on the other side, near Prince Ivan. When Ivan 
awoke he went out of the tent, and saw that his 
steed was driven away, and was grazing in the 
open fields, whilst a strange horse ate the corn. 
Then he returned to the tent and saw a youth lying 
fast asleep. Prince Ivan looked fiercely at him; 
but suddenly reflected that he should have little 
honour from killing a man asleep. So he cried : 
" Stand up, man, and save yourself. Why have 
you put your horse to feed on another's corn, and 
lain down to sleep in another's tent? For this you 
must answer with your life." Then Yaroslav 
awoke, and Prince Ivan asked him his name, whence 
he came, and who his parents were. " I am from 
the kingdom of Kartaus," answered Yaroslav, 
" the son of Prince Lasar and the Princess Epistimia 
209 P 


and my name is Yaroslav. Your steed has not been 
driven away by me, but by my horse, and good 
folk are not used to meet strangers with uncivil 
speech, but rather to treat them with hospitality. 
If you have a glass of water, give it to me, for I am 
your guest." " You are young," said Ivan, " and 
it befits me not to fetch your water; bring it to 
me rather." " You pluck the bird before you have 
caught it," replied the other, " and blame a youth ere 
you have tried him." Then said Prince Ivan : " I 
am the prince of princes, and the knight of knights, 
and you are a cossack." " Ay, indeed!" replied 
Yaroslav, " you are prince in your tent; but let 
us meet in the open field and we are equals." 
Prince Ivan saw that he had no coward to deal 
with : he took a golden flask, fetched some cold 
water, and gave it to Yaroslav to drink. Then 
they mounted their horses and rode into the open 
country. And when they began to fight, Yaroslav 
struck Prince Ivan with the butt of his lance and 
hurled him to the ground : then he whirled round 
his horse, put the point of his lance to Ivan's 
breast, and said : " Prince Ivan, wilt thou live or 
die?" And Ivan answered: "Yaroslav Lasare- 
vich, be to me my elder brother spare my 

Then Yaroslav dismounted, took Prince Ivan, 


the Russian knight, by his hand and embraced 
him, calling him his younger brother ; where- 
upon they mounted their steeds, rode off to the 
tent, and fell to feasting and making merry. And 
Yaroslav said : " My lord brother, Prince Ivan, 
as I was wandering in the open country I came 
upon two slain armies." To which Ivan replied : 
" Brother Yaroslav, the first army, of the Tsar 
Feodul, I slew when he refused to give me his 
daughter Kandaula in marriage; and I am resolved 
to carry her off by force, for I hear there is no such 
beauty in the world. To-morrow I shall fight the 
last battle with him, and thou shall be witness of 
my valour." The next morning Prince Ivan rose 
early, saddled his steed, and rode to the kingdom 
of Feodul, the Dragon Tsar ; and Yaroslav went 
on foot, and concealed himself under an oak tree 
to witness the fight. Then Prince Ivan called upon 
the Tsar with a loud voice, and Feodul ordered 
the trumpets to sound, and an army of a hundred 
thousand men to assemble. The Tsar Feodul rode 
against Prince Ivan, and before and behind him 
rode an innumerable host of squires and knights. 
Ivan grasped his shield with one hand and his 
lance with the other. As the falcon swoops upon 
the geese, swans, and ducks, even so did Prince 
Ivan fall upon that terrible army; and his steed 


trod to the ground twice as many as he himself 
slew. He destroyed the whole host, sparing only 
the lives of the old men and boys, who could not 
resist; and he took the Tsar Feodul prisoner, and 
put him to death. Then he hastened to his kingdom 
and carried off the Princess Kandaula. He took 
her by her white hands, kissed her on her soft lips, 
and led her into his tent. Soon after Yaroslav 
Lasarevich also arrived, and they all fell to feasting 
and making merry. 

When Yaroslav went out of the tent Ivan said: 
" My beloved Princess, tell me, is there in the 
world a fairer one than thou art, or a braver knight 
than my brother Yaroslav Lasarevich? I have 
gone far and wide and have not found thine equal." 
44 Nay," replied the Princess, " there are yet fairer 
than I am. In the open fields is a white tent, in 
which dwell the daughters of the Tsar Bugrigor. 
The eldest is named Prodora, the second Tivo- 
briga, and the youngest Legia : they are ten times 
fairer than I; compared to them I am as night 
to day. Whilst with my parents I was still fair, but 
now I am wasted with sorrow. And on the road 
to the kingdom of India there is a knight, in the 
dominions of Tsar Dalmat, named Ivashka White- 
mantle Saracen 's-cap. I have heard from my 
father that for three-and-thirty years he has 


guarded the kingdom of India, and that no traveller 
or knight rides past, no animal runs by, and no 
bird flies past; I know no one braver than he, for 
I have never before heard of the valour of Yaroslav 

Now Yaroslav overheard these words, and his 
chivalrous heart could not brook it. He saddled 
his steed, embraced Ivan the Russian knight, and 
the Princess Kandaula, and rode off towards the 
kingdom of the Tsar Dalmat, to engage in fight 
with Ivashka Whitemantle. He had journeyed for 
some time, when he bethought himself that he was 
bound on an enterprise of life and death, without 
having taken leave of his father and mother. So he 
turned and rode till he came to the kingdom of the 
Tsar Kartaus, where he encountered Prince Daniil 
the White, at the head of three thousand men, who 
boasted that he would subdue the kingdom of 
Kartaus, take prisoners the Tsar himself, Prince 
Lasar, and the twelve knights, and carry them off 
to his own country. Yaroslav rode straight to the 
city, and there beheld Prince Lasar assembling 
an army for battle. Then dismounting from his 
horse, he threw himself with his face to the ground 
and said: " Long life to my lord and father! 
How fares it with thee? Wherefore so sad, my 
lord?" And Prince Lasar answered: "My 


dear son, whence art thou come like a sunbeam to 
cheer me? How can I help grieving? Prince 
Daniil has invaded our dominion with an immense 
army and threatens to seize it and carry off 
the Tsar and me and the twelve knights prisoners." 
Then spoke Yaroslav Lasarevich: " My lord and 
father, give me the shield, and lance, and I will 
go out to fight the enemy." But Prince Lasar 
answered : ' My son, how canst thou combat 
such a host, who hast never been in battle? The 
cries of the Tartars will terrify thee, and they will 
slay thee!" "Teach not the goose to swim, 
father," answered Yaroslav, " nor a knight's son 
to fight with Tartars ! Only give me what I demand, 
and fear nought." 

Like a falcon darting upon geese and swans, 
Yaroslav fell upon the armies of Prince Daniil the 
White; and he hewed down not so many as his 
horse trampled under his hoofs, and he took Daniil 
prisoner. Yaroslav made him pledge his word never 
again to set foot in the kingdom of the Tsar 
Kartaus - - he nor his children, nor his children's 
children; adding that if he fell again into his 
hands he should die a miserable death. Then 
Yaroslav sent him back to his own country, and 
rode into the city. Then Tsar Kartaus came out 
to meet him, and Yaroslav threw himself with his 


face to the ground and said : " Long years of 
happiness to thee, my liege Tsar Kartaus!" " Sir 
Yaroslav Lasarevich," answered Kartaus, " I have 
wronged thee in banishing thee from my kingdom. 
Abide here and choose the best city and the fairest 
villages. My treasures are open to thee take what 
thou desirest, and thy place is at my side." Yaroslav 
answered : " O Tsar, I am wont to rove about, to 
seek adventure and to fight." So, after he had eaten 
salt and bread with the Tsar and with his parents, 
he took leave of them all and rode forth. 

And Yaroslav rode one, two, and three months, 
till at length he came to a plain, on which was 
pitched a white tent, wherein sat the three fair 
daughters of the Tsar Bogrigor, of whose beauty 
there was not the like in the wide world; and they 
were busy at their work. Yaroslav stepped into the 
tent, and was so amazed at the sight, that he forgot 
to pray to the ikons of the Saints. Then he took 
the eldest daughter, Prodora, by the hand, and 
desiring the others to leave the tent, said : " My 
gentle and beautiful Princess Prodora Bogrigor- 
ovna, is there in the world a fairer maiden than 
thou, or a braver knight than I?" And Prodora 
answered : " Sir Yaroslav Lasarevich, how can 
you call me fair? In the city of Dobri lives the 
daughter of the Tsar Vorcholomei, the Princess 


Anastasia, compared to her we are like night to 
day. On the way to the Indian kingdom of the Tsar 
Dalmat is a knight named Ivashka Whitemantle 
Saracen 's-cap, and I have heard from my father 
that he is very powerful, and has guarded the 
kingdom of India for three-and -thirty years; no 
one passes him on foot or horse, no animal runs, 
no bird flies past. But what a brave knight art thou 
indeed to drive us maidens from the tent!" At 
this Yaroslav was angered : he bowed the head of 
the Princess and struck it off with his sword. Then 
he took the second Princess, Tivobriga, by the hand 
and said : " Gentle princess, is there a more 
beautiful maiden in the world than thou, or a 
braver knight than I?" And she answered as the 
eldest had done ; so he struck off her head in like 
manner. Then he took the third sister Legia by 
the hand and asked her the same question as her 
sisters. And Legia answered : "Sir Yaroslav, I 
am neither beautiful nor good. When I was with 
my father and mother I was so, but now I am 
wasted and no longer handsome." Then she like- 
wise told him of the Princess Anastasia, the daugh- 
ter of the Tsar Vorcholomei, and of the knight 
Ivashka. " Fairest lady," replied Yaroslav, " thou 
has comforted me with thy gentle words." 

Then he went out of the tent, took leave of 


Legia, mounted his steed, and rode off to the king- 
dom of India, to see the Tsar Dalmat and Ivashka 
Whitemantle. And he rode on for one, two and 
three months; and when he came near the city, 
there upon the plain stood Ivashka, leaning upon 
a lance, with a Saracen's cap on his head and a 
white mantle around him. Yaroslav rode up to 
him, struck off his cap with his whip, and said : 
" Lie down and sleep, there is no need to stand!" 
" Who art thou?" inquired Ivashka; " what is 
thy name, and whence comest thou?" Yaroslav 
answered : "I am come from the kingdom of the 
Tsar Kartaus, and my name is Yaroslav: I am 
preparing to journey to the kingdom of India to 
pay my respects to the Tsar Dalmat." But Ivashka 
answered : " Never has man or animal passed 
this way, and thinkest thou to do so? First let us 
go into the plain and try the prowess of our arms ! ' ' 
The two knights made a furious onset ; and after 
a long fight Yaroslav thrust his lance at Ivashka's 
heart, and threw him from the saddle; and Ivashka 
fell upon the ground like a sheaf of oats, and Yaro- 
slav slew him on the spot. 

Then Yaroslav rode on his way to the kingdom 

of India, and on arriving at the city he went straight 

to the Tsar Dalmat ; and, entering the palace, he 

made his obeisance and said : " Long years of 



happiness to thee, O Tsar, to thy family, and all 
thy princes and boyars ! Take me into thy service !" 
Then said Dalmat : " Man, whence comest thou, 
and what is thy name, and whose son art thou?'* 
So Yaroslav told him, and the Tsar said: " Which 
way hast thou come, by land or by water?" 
Yaroslav replied : " By land," and the Tsar said : 
" I have a knight who dwells upon the open plains, 
and has guarded my kingdom for three-and-thirty 
years; no man or animal has ever passed him, on 
horse, foot, or wing ; and how hast thou ridden 
past?" Yaroslav answered: " I have vanquished 
this man, O Tsar; but I knew not that he be- 
longed to thee." 

On hearing this the Tsar was terrified, and 
thought to himself : " If he has slain such a knight 
he can easily conquer my kingdom, and he only 
wants to rob me of my throne." This thought 
made him sorrowful, and he commanded all honour 
to be shown to Yaroslav Lasarevich, and gave him 
drink from his own goblet. Then Yaroslav observed 
that the Tsar feared him : he went out of the castle, 
saddled his steed, and rode away out of the king- 
dom. Tsar Dalmat was rejoiced to be freed from 
Yaroslav, and ordered the gates to be closed fast 
behind him. 

Yaroslav now resolved to go to the city of Dobri 


to witness the beauty of the Princess Anastasia, 
and he rode on for one, two, and three months. 
Then he bethought himself : ' ' I have come to a 
strange country, perhaps to marry this Princess, 
or meet death without having my parents' blessing." 
And with that, away he rode to the kingdom of 
the Tsar Kartaus, which he found conquered, and 
laid waste with fire and sword. There remained 
one solitary hut standing, in which dwelt a one- 
eyed old man. Yaroslav stepped into the hut, 
bowed to the man, and said : " Old brother, what 
has happened to this kingdom?" The man 
answered : " Brave knight, whence art thou come, 
and what is thy name ? ' ' But Yaroslav replied : 
" Knowest thou me not? I was born in this king- 
dom, the son of Prince Lasar, and my name is 
Yaroslav." On hearing this the old man fell to the 
earth, and said with tears : " Since thou hast 
been gone, long time has passed. Daniil the White 
returned, and with him five times a hundred 
thousand men; he fell upon this kingdom, laid it 
waste with fire and sword, and slew a hundred 
thousand brave warriors. Five millions of the 
common folk, with all the priests and monks, he 
burnt in the open fields, slew twelve thousand 
infants, took prisoners the Tsar Kartaus with his 
twelve knights, and put to death the Tsarina and 


thy mother, the Princess Epistimia. I am the only 
one left alive, and have lain nine days here half- 
dead with fear.'* 

Yaroslav wept when he heard this, and mounting 
his steed, commended himself to the Saints, and 
rode to seek the Tsar Daniil the White. He came 
to the city at noon without being seen, except by 
some little boys playing in the streets : and he 
asked them where the Tsar Kartaus was, as he 
wished to give him alms ; so they showed him the 
prison. At the gate a guard was standing, but 
Yaroslav struck him down, and broke open the 
doors. On entering the prison, he saw Kartaus, his 
father Lasar, and the twelve knights, all blinded ; 
at which cruel sight he fell to the ground, and with 
tears exclaimed : " Long life to thee, O Tsar, to 
thee my father, and to you brave knights!" Then 
answered Kartaus: " I hear thy voice but cannot 
see thy face. Whence comest thou, what is thy 
name, and whose son art thou?" So Yaroslav 
told him who he was ; but Kartaus replied : 
" Fellow, away! and mock me not." 

" Father," replied Yaroslav, "I am indeed 
Yaroslav, and come to relieve you." " Lie not, 
fellow!" said Kartaus; "if Yaroslav had been 
alive we should not sit here in prison and suffer 
such a cruel fate; but I should have been reigning 


in my kingdom with Prince Lasar and my twelve 
knights. But since Yaroslav is dead we are punished 
for our sins, and sit here in sightless solitude. If, 
however, you are really the true Yaroslav Lasare- 
vich, ride, I pray thee, beyond the Still Waters 
and the Warm Sea, to the city of Shtchetin, where 
rules the Tsar Fireshield. Slay him, and take some 
drops of his blood; and when you return, anoint 
our eyes with it and we shall then see and shall believe 

Yaroslav made his obeisance to the Tsar, mounted 
his horse, and rode forth. But the boys in the streets 
had observed him, and they told it to their fathers, 
who said to Daniil the White : " O Prince, there 
has been in our city a brave warrior; his horse 
was like a lion, and he was armed from head to foot, 
and he rode away from the prison where Tsar 
Kartaus and his companions are confined.'* In- 
stantly Prince Daniil sent his servant Mursa to 
enquire who had been in the prison. And when he 
came there he found the doors standing open, and 
the guard slain ; then, entering the doors, he said : 
" O Tsar Kartaus, tell me who has been with you 
here? Prince Daniil sends me to inquire." And Kar- 
taus answered: " My good fellow how can we tell 
who was here? A man was in the prison who called 
himself Yaroslav, but we recognized not his voice." 


Then Mursa returned to Prince Daniil, and told 
him what Kartaus had said ; and forthwith Prince 
Daniil ordered the trumpets to sound and the 
drums to beat; and a host of Tartars assembled 
around him to the number of two hundred and 
fifty thousand men. And he commanded thirty 
horsemen to pursue and take Yaroslav and to 
bring him before him. So they went in pursuit, 
and after riding for some time they descried Yaro- 
slav asleep under an oak tree, and his horse stand- 
ing beside him. The horse perceived that the 
Tartars were in pursuit of his master, and neighed 
loudly. Thereat Yaroslav awoke, and seeing the 
knights afar, he mounted his steed and rode off, 
exclaiming : " First catch the wind on the wide plains 
and then look to catch me !" 

So saying he vanished from their sight, and rode 
beyond the Still Waters and the Warm Seas to 
the Podolish Horde, to the city of Shtchetin. Then 
the Tartars took counsel together what they should 
say to the Prince, and they resolved to pretend 
that they had not seen Yaroslav. 

Yaroslav Lasarevich arrived in half a year at the 
city of Shtchetin, before which lay the remains of 
an army slain, and in the midst the head of a knight 
as big as a large hillock. Then Yaroslav rode round 
this army, and cried with a loud voice : " Is there 


not here one living man?" And the Knight's head 
said: " Yaroslav Lasarevich, whom seekest thou?" 
At this Yaroslav marvelled greatly ; but the Head 
spoke again : " Wonder not, but tell me whither 
thou ridest, and what thou seekest." Then Yaro- 
slav asked : " But who art thou? In what kingdom 
dost thou dwell, and who are thy father and mother? 
And the Head answered : " I am a knight of the 
Sadonic kingdom, son of the Tsar Prochos, and 
my name is Raslanei." And Yaroslav said : " Whose 
armies lie here slain?" " These hosts belong to 
the Tsar Fireshield," replied Raslanei, " and a 
year has not passed since I came here and slew 
them. The cause of the war was that the Tsar had 
seized upon towns belonging to my father. But tell 
me, Yaroslav, how far are you journeying?" 
Then said Yaroslav : "I am riding to the city of 
Shtchetin to slay the Tsar Fireshield." But the 
Head answered : " Sooner will you be slain your- 
self ! I was indeed a powerful knight, feared by all 
Tsars and knights; at my birth I was six feet tall, 
and as stout as a man could compass. When I was 
ten years old no wild beast, no man on foot, or 
knight or horse, could stand before me. Now you 
see how I am grown : my body is sixty feet long, 
twelve feet between the shoulders, and a feathered 
shaft can lie between my eyebrows. My head is as 


big as a brewer's vat; my arms are twenty feet 
long, and I could not stand my ground against the 
Tsar. The Tsar is strong, and has a mighty host; 
sword and scimitar wound him not ; fire does not 
burn, water does not drown him. Yet I have a 
sword which can wound him, but unluckily I 
could not wield it, and he struck me down. Never- 
theless, I will do you good service, and give you 
counsel; when you come to the city of Shtchetin 
and the Tsar Fireshield sees and questions you, 
answer that you desire to serve him. Then he will 
bid you follow him ; do so, and serve him faith- 
fully, and when he goes out to the chase, accom- 
pany him. Then remind him of me, and he will 
grow sad, but tell him you can get the sword which 
lies under my head. He will not believe you, but 
pledge your word, and as soon as you can, come 
to me, I will lift my head and give you the sword." 
Then Yaroslav made his bow, mounted his steed 
and rode to Shtchetin; and, as he approached the 
city, the Tsar perceived and accosted him. Yaro- 
slav dismounted, and falling with his face to the 
ground, said : " Long years of happiness to thee, 
O Tsar! Take me, I pray, into thy service." 
Then the Tsar asked him whence he came, whose 
son he was, and what was his name. Yaroslav 
replied : '* I have roamed far and wide, and now 


seek the service of a good lord and master ; I was 
born in the kingdom of the Tsar Kartaus, the son 
of Prince Lasar, and my name is Yaroslav." Then 
said the Tsar: " Yaroslav Lasarevich, ride into 
my city I want followers." So Yaroslav rode into 
the city. 

One day the Tsar rode out to the chase, and 
took with him the boyars and knights, and Yaro- 
slav was among them. When they approached the 
Knight's Head, Yaroslav stood and marvelled at 
the sight. Then said the Tsar : " Why standest 
thou there, Yaroslav?" And Yaroslav answered : 
" O Tsar, I see here a great army lie slain, and 
this Knight's Head, under which rests a trusty 
sword." The Tsar sighed and answered: "This 
Knight has destroyed my army, and I slew him ; 
his sword lies under his head, and I cannot get it. No 
sword can wound me, no fire burn, no water drown 
me; this sword alone has the power to slay me." 

Then said Yaroslav : * 6 O Tsar, permit me to 
bring thee the sword." And the Tsar replied : " Do 
this service and I will set thee above all my knights ; 
but if thou talkest idly, thou shalt be safe neither 
in water, nor under the earth, nor among the rocks." 
And so saying, the Tsar returned into the city, and 
Yaroslav rode up to the Knight's Head and said : 
" Sir Knight's Head, I trust to thy love and 
225 Q 


friendship to fulfil thy promise and give me up this 
sword ; for I have given my word to the Tsar to 
take it to him, and shall die a cruel death if I per- 
form not my promise." But the Knight's Head 
answered not a word. Then Yaroslav dismounted 
from his good steed, fell on his knees before him, 
and said : "Sir Raslanei, let me die not thus in 
vain give me, I pray, the sword from under thee." 

Thereupon the Knight Raslanei raised himself, 
and Yaroslav took the sword, bowed to the Knight's 
Head, and mounting his steed, rode off to the city 
of Shtchetin. And on the way he said to himself : 
" Hitherto I have been victorious over Tsars and 
knights, but now indeed I am forced to bend before 
a Knight's Head, and entreat him to give me a 

Raslanei heard this, and cried with a loud voice : 
" Ho, Sir Knight! return!" So Yaroslav turned 
round, and went back to the Head ; and the 
Head reproached him, saying : " Thy sword 
could not touch my helm." Then Yaroslav fell on 
the ground and said: "Sir Knight Raslanei, 
pardon me for having offended thee ! And the 
Knight's Head answered : " Yaroslav Lasarevich, 
thy youth and want of understanding have made 
thee speak thus. Thou hast taken my sword indeed ; 
but even with this thou mayest still lose thy life ; 



nevertheless, I wish thee well, and will teach thee 
understanding. When thou comest to the city, and 
the Tsar sees thee, he will descend from his throne 
for joy, welcome thee in the midst of his Court, 
and give thee gold and silver and precious stones. 
Then deal him a single blow upon his head with 
the sword ; but beware of striking a second blow, 
or he will revive and kill thee." 

Yaroslav bowed himself to the Knight's Head, 
and rode to the city ; and no sooner had he reached 
the castle, and the Tsar saw him bringing the 
sword, than he sprang from his throne, flung away 
his sceptre, received him in his Court, and said : 
" Yaroslav Lasarevich, in return for this service I 
grant thee one place opposite me, the second by 
my side, and a third where thou wilt. My treasures 
are open to thee take towns and handsome villages, 
and if thou wilt have my daughter the Princess 
Nasaria for wife, I will give thee one-half of my 
kingdom." And so saying, he stretched out his hand 
to take the sword ; but Yaroslav struck him a blow 
which cleft his head, and the Tsar fell dead on the 
spot. Then all the princes and boyars cried aloud : 
" Yaroslav Lasarevich, strike him a second blow!" 
But he answered : " A knight deals one blow, and 
that is enough." Forthwith a number of princes 
and boyars and the twelve knights fell upon him, 


and were going to put him to death ; but Yaroslav 
set his lance under his arm, seized the Tsar with 
his left hand, and clutching his sword with his 
right, he fell to slaying the princes and knights on 
all sides. 

Soon the other princes and inhabitants of the 
city cried aloud : " O Yaroslav Lasarevich, cease 
killing and slaying ! It is the will of fate live with 
us and rule over our land!" But Yaroslav replied: 
" Choose a Tsar from among yourselves : I am 
no Tsar for you." He ceased, however, slaying the 
people, and taking some of the Tsar's blood, put 
it into a phial ; then mounting his horse, he rode 
out of the city and away, until he came to Sir 
Raslanei, and, taking the headless body, he set 
the head upon it, and sprinkled it with the blood. 
Thereupon the Knight stood up, as if awakened 
from a dream ; and Yaroslav embraced him, and 
they called one another brothers : Raslanei was 
the elder, and Yaroslav the younger. Then they 
parted, ana each rode his way. Raslanei rode to 
his Sadonic kingdom, to receive his mother's 
blessing, as he wished to marry the daughter of the 
Tsar of Shtchetin, and rule over that city. But 
Yaroslav rode on and on for half a year, until he 
came to the kingdom of Daniil the White. On 
entering the city he went straight to the prison, 


before which a strong guard was posted : so he 
slew them all, broke open the gates, entered the 
prison, and said: "Hail, O Tsar Kartaus, and 
thou my father, Prince Lasar, and ye twelve knights ! 
How does Heaven protect you?" But the Tsar 
Kartaus answered : " Man, whence are thou, and 
what is thy name?" " O Tsar," replied Yaroslav, 
" I was born in thy kingdom, the son of Prince 
Lasar, and my name is Yaroslav. I have fulfilled 
thy commands and slain the mighty Tsar, and 
have taken some of his blood." Then said Kartaus : 
" If thy name is indeed Yaroslav Lasarevich, and 
thou hast slain the Tsar and taken of his blood, 
anoint our eyes with it ; then we shall see the light of 
heaven and shall believe thee." 

So Yaroslav took the blood from his phial and 
anointed their eyes, and they saw again; thereat 
they were overjoyed, and with tears exclaimed : 
" O Yaroslav Lasarevich, it is indeed he!" and they 
embraced him. Then the Tsar Kartaus asked him : 
" Where hast thou been so long?" " Wait an 
instant," replied Yaroslav; and so saying, he left 
the prison, mounted his good steed, and rode out of 
the city. 

Early the next morning Yaroslav cried out with 
a loud voice ; and when Prince Daniil the White 
heard the shout, he ordered the trumpets to sound 


and the drums to beat. Then the Murses and 
Tartars flocked around him, and divers warlike 
peoples, and Prince Daniil the White rode with them 
all out of the city. 

Yaroslav Lasarevich took his shield and lance, 
and exclaimed : " As the falcon pounces upon 
white swans and grey ducks, so darts the brave 
Yaroslav Lasarevich upon the army of Daniil the 
White!" And many as he slew with his sword, 
his steed trod down yet more, and he killed ten 
thousand Murses, and a hundred thousand of the 
common Tartars; and he made Prince Daniil the 
White prisoner, and led him up to the city. He 
baptized all the little children up to the age of ten 
years into the true religion, and pronounced a curse 
upon theirs. Then he commanded the wife of 
Prince Daniil the White to be put to death, since 
she had killed his mother, the Princess Epistimia; 
but he spared the life of Prince Daniil and his 
nobles as he had not slain the Tsar Kartaus and 
Prince Lasar ; he only put out their eyes, and threw 
them into prison under a strong guard. Then all 
the citizens came and fell with their faces to the 
earth, and entreated Yaroslav to reign over them ; 
but instead, he seated the Tsar Kartaus on the 
throne, and Prince Lasar and the twelve knights 
were restored to their posts of honour. So there 


were great rejoicings, and they fell to feasting 
right merrily. 

When the tables were removed, Yaroslav Lasare- 
vich stood up, praying to the ikons of the Saints, 
and took leave of his father and the Tsar Kartaus. 
All present followed him with their tears, and 
entreated him not to leave them, but he mounted 
his horse, and making his bow, rode off towards 
the city of Dobri, in the kingdom of the Tsar 
Vorcholomei, to see the beauty of the Princess 
Anastasia. Now, in this country there was a large 
lake, in which lived a huge three-headed Dragon 
guarding a precious stone, that every year came to 
the shore and devoured a number of men. The 
Tsar had proclaimed again and again that if anyone 
slew this monster he would give tbcm plenty of 
gold and silver and towns. Whea Yaroslav came 
to the city anj heard of this proclamation, he 
i.Mi.unted his ste-M again and rode rff to the lake. 
As soon as the monster espied him. he sprang 
ashore : Yaroslav 's horse trembled with fright, 
and fell on his knees, and Yaroslav was thrown to 
the ground. Then the Dragon seized and drew 
him into the lake. Yaroslav, who had nothing but 
his battle s word, ^ leaped upon the back of the 
monster, and with one blow struck off his two 
heads, and was about to cut off the third, when 


the Dragon turned round, and entreating him, said : 
" O Yaroslav Lasarevich, spare my life! From this 
time I will never more come on shore and devour 
men, but will remain at the bottom of the lake." 
Then said Yaroslav : " Give me the stone, and I 
will set you free." So the monster went down into 
the lake, with Yaroslav sitting upon his back ; and 
Yaroslav received the precious stone, and desired 
the Dragon to set him again on shore ; but no 
sooner had he done so, than Yaroslav struck off 
the Dragon's third head, and mounting his steed, 
rode off to the city of Dobri, where the Tsar 
Vorcholomei came out to meet him. When the 
Tsar heard his name, and the exploit he had per- 
formed, he was overjoyed ; and all the people of 
the city came and bowed to the ground, and all the 
little children jumped about, and there was great 
rejoicing in the city of Dobri. The Tsar in his 
rapture gave a great feast, and invited all his 
princes and boyars and people of different ranks, 
with their wives and children. Then he took Yaro- 
slav by the hand, and seated him by his side at 
table and said : "Sir Yaroslav Lasarevich, thy 
will shall rule over me and my whole kingdom : 
my treasures are open to thee take gold and 
silver, and towns and villages ; and if thou wilt 
marry, I will give thee my daughter, the Princess 


Anastasia, with one-half of my kingdom as her 
dowry." Then Yaroslav, being merry and light- 
hearted, said : " Show me thy daughter, O Tsar 
Vorcholomei." And the Tsar instantly ordered his 
daughter to appear before him, dressed in sumpt- 
uous attire, and she was more beautiful than any 
fancy could imagine. Then Vorcholomei took her 
by the hand and led her to Yaroslav. She reached 
to him a golden goblet of wine, and Yaroslav said : 
" Health to thee, dear Princess, the fairest in the 
wide world, long years of happiness to thee." And 
he kissed her sugared lips. Then the Princess said 
to him : " Health to thee, too, my brave and dear 
knight!" Then Yaroslav went to the Tsar 
Vorcholomei, and said : " O Tsar, thy fair daughter 
pleases me, and I will take her to wife." So Vor- 
cholomei immediately commanded everything to 
be prepared for the wedding : and they all fell 
again to feasting and making merry. 

Early the next morning the Tsar commanded 
another feast to be made ready, and taking Yaroslav 
by the hand, said : " Brave knight Sir Yaroslav 
Lasarevich, I give thee in marriage my dear and 
beauteous daughter Anastasia : love her well and 
truly, and live in harmony with her. And, that I 
may witness your happy life, I bestow on thee as 
her dowry my whole kingdom : only guard it 


against enemies." Then said the Tsar to his 
daughter : Dear daughter, live with thy husband 
in peace and love, and honour him, for the huslaand 
u always the head over the wife." Thereupon he 
ordered them to drive off to church and be married ; 
and after the wedding they returned to the royal 
halls. Yaroslav took the bride by the hand and led 
her to the Tsar Vorcholomei, his father-in-law. 
All the princes and boyars, with their wives, 
brought to him costly presents ; and the Tsar 
received them and said : " Long years of happiness 
to my lord Prince Yaroslav Lasarevich, my beloved 
son-in-law, and his wife, my daughter, the fair 
Princess Anastasia ! ' * Then all the princes and 
boyars cried aloud with one voice : " Hail, Sir 
Yaroslav Lasarevich, with thy young bride the 
fair Princess!" and they bowed them to the 
ground. Then Yaroslav and the Princess Anastasia, 
with all the princes and boyars fell to eating and 
drinking and making merry. 

One day, as Yaroslav was conversing with Anas- 
tasia, he said : " My dear Tsarina, fairest princess 
in the world, I have gone through many kingdoms 
to behold thy beauty, and have heard of it far and 
wide from every maiden ; and now, dear, tell me 
truly, is there any fairer princess than thou, or any 
braver knight than I?" Then the Princess replied : 


" My dear friend, there is no braver or handsomer 
knight in the world indeed than thou ; but as for 
me what is there fair and good in me? In the 
country of the Amazons, in the City of the Sun, 
there is a Tsarina Polikaria, who herself rules over 
the land ; another such a beauty there is not in the 
wide world." 

When Yaroslav Lasarevich heard this, he could 
think only of the beautiful Polikaria ; and one 
morning he arose early, and said to his wife : " My 
dear Tsarina, I am going a journey to a certain city 
in a distant country ; keep this precious stone 
which I took from the Dragon. Farewell ! if I 
live, I will return to thee, but if death overtakes me, 
have a Mass said for me." Thereat the Tsarina 
wept bitterly, and fell to the ground as if dead with 
grief. Then Yaroslav went to the Tsar Vorcholomei 
and said that he wished to pay a visit to his father, 
Prince Lasar, and took his leave. 

Yaroslav journeyed for nine months, until at 
last he came to the City of the Sun, and dismounted 
at the gates of the palace. When the Tsarevna 
Polikaria beheld a handsome knight in the court- 
yard, she was frightened at his appearance in the 
castle without her permission ; and when he entered 
she said to him : " Brave knight, whence comest 
thou, and what dost thou seek in our kingdom?" 


He replied : " I am come from the kingdom 
of the Tsar Kartaus, the son of Prince Lasar and 
the Princess Epistimia, and my name is Yaroslav. 
I am come to pay my compliments to thee, and to 
behold thy unspeakable beauty." At hearing this 
the Tsarevna Polikaria was rejoiced, took him by 
his white hands, led him into the royal halls, and 
said : "Sir Yaroslav Lasarevich, abide here and 
rule over my kingdom, and thy will shall be my 
will." As Yaroslav gazed on her beauty he was 
troubled at heart, but he could not refuse her 
request, so he remained there and ruled over her 

Meanwhile the Tsarina Anastasia had a brave 
little son; her father was greatly rejoiced, and 
gave him the name of Yaroslav. He had rosy cheeks, 
eyes like saucers, and a stout body : he was the 
image of his father, and the Tsar, in his joy, ordered 
a great feast to be prepared. 

When young Yaroslav reached his sixth year, 
he went to the Court of his grandfather the Tsar 
Vorcholomei, and the children laughed at him, 
crying : " Yaroslav, you have no father!" This 
angered him, and he began to beat them ; and 
when he seized one by the head, his head dropped 
off, and when he seized a hand, the hand dropped 
off, and when he seized a foot, the foot dropped off ; 


nevertheless, the princes and boyars dared not 
complain to the Tsar. Then little Yaroslav went to 
his mother and said : '* Mother, tell me the truth 
have I a father or no?" At this the Tsarina 
Anastasia sighed deeply, and replied with tears : 
" Thou hast a father, child the brave knight 
Yaroslav Lasarevich; he is gone a long journey 
to the City of the Sun, in the country of the 

On hearing this, Yaroslav Yaroslavovich put on 
his armour to go in search of his father ; and his 
mother gave him a golden ring with the precious 
stone. Then Yaroslav saddled his horse, took leave 
of his mother and grandfather, and rode forth to 
seek his father. 

One morning, at early dawn, he arrived at the 
city of the Sun. Now, at that time Yaroslav, his 
father, was in the camp ; and when he heard the 
voice of a strange knight, he cried : " Who comes 
riding this way? I will go out and slay him." 

With the swiftness of a falcon's sweep, the two 
knights, father and son, rushed at each other, and 
Yaroslavovich struck his father with the butt-end 
of his lance, and well-nigh overthrew him. Then 
said Yaroslav, the father : " Young boy, go to ! 
or I'll punish thee !" So they made a second onset, 
and Yaroslav Lasarevich thrust the butt-end of 


his lance at his son and unsaddled him. And Yaro- 
slav, the father, aimed at him the sharp point of 
his lance, and was about to kill him ; but young 
Yaroslav seized the lance with his right hand, and 
the precious stone sparkled on his finger. Then 
Yaroslav Lasarevich exclaimed : " Whence comest 
thou, boy ? Whose son art thou, and what is thy 
name ? " And the son answered : "I come from 
the city of Dobri, in the kingdom of the Tsar 
Vorcholomei ; my father is Yaroslav Lasarevich, 
and my mother is the Tsarina Anastasia. But I 
know not my father ; and for this reason I am 
come hither in search of him. My name is Yaroslav." 
On hearing this, his father leaped from his horse, 
raised his son, and pressed him to his heart. Then 
they mounted their steeds and rode to the city of 
Dobri, where they found all the people in lamen- 
tation, for the Tsar Vorcholomei was dead. But the 
people recognised the knights, and bowed before 
them and said : " Hail, our Lord Yaroslav 
Lasarevich with your noble son ! Our Tsar has 
left the dominion of our kingdom to thee." Then 
the Tsarevna Anastasia came forth from her palace, 
fell to the earth, and with tears exclaimed : " O 
my bright Sun, whence comest thou to warm and 
cheeer us ? " Then she took him by his white hands 
and led him into the royal apartments ; and all the 


people, the princes and boyars, made their obeisance 
to Yaroslav, and brought him rich presents. 

Yaroslav mounted the throne with great pomp, 
took the sceptre, put on the purple robes, and set 
the golden crown upon his head. Then he called 
his son to him and said : " My dear child, take a 
war-horse, a suit of armour, a battle sword and lance, 
and ride forth. Sit firmly on thy horse, and be a 
brave knight, as I have been. Ride to the kingdom 
of Daniil the White, to the Tsar Kartaus, and thy 
grandfather Prince Lasar ; then to my brother- 
in-arms, Ivan the Russian knight, who now rules 
in the kingdom of the Tsar Feodul the Dragon- 
King, and to the mighty knight, Raslanei, who 
rules in the kingdom of the Tsar Fireshield. Inquire 
after the health of them all, and return to me. 
Upon the journey be gentle and courteous, but 
brave." So Yaroslav received his parent's blessing, 
and set out on his travels. 

In five years he had journeyed and paid all these 
visits, and returned to his father. And on the way 
a little old man met him and stopped up the road ; 
but he asked him : " Old man, why dost thou 
place thyself in my way, and wilt not let me pass?" 
And so saying, he was about to ride over him, but 
the little old man saw his intention and said to 
him : " Poor knight, wouldst thou kill a little old 


man? Thou canst get nothing from the old." This 
did not please Yaroslav : he drew his sword to 
slay the man ; but just as he was rushing at him 
the old man blew on him, and Yaroslav could not 
withstand even this mere breath of wind, and fell 
from his horse like a sheaf of corn. Then the old 
man took him by the arm and said : " Poor knight, 
wilt thou live or die?" Yaroslav was so terrified 
that he could not answer a word. Then the old man 
laid him on the ground and said : " No knight, no 
hero, above all, no man, can stand against me; but 
art thou not the son of the Tsar in the kingdom of 
Vorcholomei?" He answered that he was. Then 
said the old man : " Ride home, but say nothing 
of me in that kingdom." And with that he vanished. 

Yaroslav went to seek his father and mother, and 
they came to meet him, and the princes and boyars 
threw themselves with their faces to the ground 
before him. Then his father took him by his white 
hands, kissed him on his sugared lips, led him into 
the royal halls, seated him at the oaken tables 
spread with fine cloths, and gave a great feast. 
And the elder Yaroslav began to question his son, 
and said : " Thou hast travelled to thy grandfather 
Prince Lasar, tell me about him and how he is." 

Then Yaroslav delivered the following letter 
from the Tsar Kartaus to his father : " The 


Tsar Kartaus sends hearty greetings to the great 
Tsar and powerful knight Yaroslav Lasarevich ! 
Health to thee and thy lady wife, Anastasia Vor- 
cholomeievna, and to thy son, Yaroslav Yaro- 
slavoich, and to thy princes and boyars and all 
thy subjects ! I continue to rule happily in my 
kingdom!" Upon the same paper was written by 
Prince Lasar to his son : "To my dear son 
Yaroslav Lasarevich, and my dear daughter- 
in-law, Anastasia Vorcholomeievna, my grandson, 
Yaroslav Yaroslavovich, and thy whole kingdom, 
peace and blessing ! Rule and govern happily, and 
mayest thou be prosperous for many long years ! ' 

Yaroslav Lasarevich was greatly rejoiced, and 
said to his son : " Hast thou been to visit my 
brother-in-law, Prince Ivan the Russian Knight?" 
And young Yaroslav gave a letter likewise from 
him to his father, in which was written as follows : 
" To the mighty Tsar of Tsars, and Knight of 
Knights, my elder brother Yaroslav Lasarevich, 
hearty greetings ! Hail to thee, and happiness for 
many years, with thy lady wife, Anastasia Vor- 
cholomeievna, and thy son, the valiant knight 
Yaroslav, and thy whole empire ! Sire, when thy 
son entered my kingdom, I was returning from 
battle ; I knew not thy son, and imagined he was 
a knight come to subdue my kingdom. I attacked 
241 R 


him, and was about to cut off his head with my 
battle sword ; but he seized his long lance, and 
with the butt-end thrust so boldly at my heart 
that I could hardly keep my seat in my saddle ; 
then said he : ' I am the son of Yaroslav Lasare- 
vich.' When I heard these words I pardoned him ; 
but the wound he gave me is not yet healed." 

Then Yaroslav delivered to his father another 
letter, from the knight, Sir Raslanei, which ran as 
follows : "I, the great Tsar Raslanei Prochorovich, 
to my younger brother, the great Tsar and powerful 
knight, Yaroslav Lasarevich, send hearty greetings ! 
And, with this greeting, health and happiness to 
thee also, O Tsar, with thy fair lady wife, Anastasia 
Vorcholomeievna, and thy son the brave knight 
Yaroslav Yaroslavovich ! Thy son has cleft my 
head and has pierced me through with the butt- 
end of his lance, and my wounds remain still un- 
healed ; but I heard that he was thy son, and have 
pardoned him, and sent him back to thee uninjured." 

Then Yaroslav related to his father everything 
in order; and soon the feast was prepared, and 
they all made merry, and were in great joy at 
Yaroslav 's return. Then began Yarosiav Lasarevich 
to praise the bravery of his son, and to tell how he 
had overthrown Tsars and powerful knights ; 
whereat all the princes and boyars marvelled at his 


bravery, and declared there were no other such 
knights in the world as these, father and son, and 
that no one could stand against them. 

Yaroslav Lasarevich subdued many cities to his 
dominion ; and many others, when they heard of 
his bravery, surrendered voluntarily to his power. 
And he sat upon the throne in good health for 
twenty years, and his age was forty-and-nine years 
and three months when he died. His wife, Anastasia 
Vorcholomeievna, wept and was inconsolable for 
the loss of her husband, and she also soon died of 
grief. And her son Yaroslav wept for his father, the 
mighty knight Yaroslav Lasarevich, and long too 
wept for his mother. Soon after he mounted the 
throne of his father, and ruled with renown and 




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